We're currently looking at how to overcome challenging circumstances and situations. From John Chapter 14 we've already seen that the first thing you need to do in a challenging situation is not panic. The first thing you need to do is let not your heart be troubled (John 14:1). Your first response to any tragedy, to any negative situation, can largely determine the course of that tragedy. We all want positive outcomes but we've got to be prepared to respond properly in negative circumstances.
If you're just going to fall apart as soon as you get bad news, then you're not in faith. Your first response often reveals where your heart is at. I remember being in a couple of challenging circumstances and yeah, my first response was positive, it was a “thank you, father. The first report is in the last report. Thank you, father, that your word is true and we're going to see a change in the situation. Thank you, father.” Straight away I responded positively and as a result, I had some positive outcomes from those things. That's encouraging! For example, one day, my eldest son who was probably about two years old or so at the time, he was jumping up and down on a bed and I said to him, “William, you shouldn't be jumping up and down in the bed. Please stop!” And he stopped, but obviously forgot and then he started up again. Then he fell and he hit his face on the wooden part of our bed and straightaway there was lots of blood. He was crying and his lip instantly swelled up and went black. We got some sugar and rubbed it in his mouth to soothe him and just stop the bleeding. (There's a good tip for, for parents.) And straight away I just held him and prayed in the spirit over him and we just declared that there will be nothing broken, nothing would be damaged and everything would be restored to perfection.
When we looked in his mouth his teeth were a bit skew in front but we prayed and everything came right. The bleeding stopped. For two or three days he had a big black lip it was kind of a swollen, and it was also a little bit sensitive for him, but we just prayed over him and we said, “William, your healed and getting better, so don't worry. It's gonna get better.” And over the next three days we saw that thing go down and disappear and everything was perfectly fine and it still is fine. And that was probably about three years ago now. We have a friend whose son (William’s age) had exactly the same thing happen and they had to take him to the hospital and he had to have his teeth cut out. When I was one years old, I had a similar kind of accident but a bit more severe. I had to have an operation and have my front teeth cut out and my lip sewn up. And this was the first thing I remembered when I saw Williams face after he fell, but my immediate reaction, because I've been so grounded in the word, was “I will not let not my heart be troubled.” So I chose not to let my heart be troubled. I chose to declare the outcome I wanted to see. I chose to stand on God's word and speak in faith and command things to change and to go in the direction that I wanted them to go. And you know, it all worked out perfectly. It took some time for the swelling to go down because of that, we didn't go out. We didn't allow other people to see him just for those two or three days because we didn't want other people's unbelief to get to us. And you know what? After three days or so, he was perfectly fine. No mark even on his lip or anything on his gums all because we didn't allow anxiety or fear to grip us in our hearts and we responded in faith straight away.
John 14:1 says, “let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.”
You have the authority to let your heart be troubled or not. You have the authority and you have the choice. When faced with a challenging circumstance or a tragedy, are you going to panic or aren't you? Because you don't have to panic. You don't have to fall apart. You don't have to fall apart like a Glomail special (or $2 suitcase). You can have faith in God that will enable you to be a world overcomer, and you'll be able to rise up and get through that challenging circumstance. It's really important that you are ready for challenges by filling yourself with the Word so that your first response to a negative situation is one of, “God, I'm trusting in you. I'm not going to let my heart be troubled.” And then you might need to just fix your heart on the truths of God's word. You might need to just fix your mind and your attention on God and his word for a time. You might need to shut other people out in order not to allow your heart to be contaminated, but it's well worth doing because then you'll have a victorious outcome.
If you allow your heart and your mind to be polluted by everything that everyone else is saying, then you probably won't get through the way you want to get through. Once again as Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in thee”, if you want perfect piece, what you need to do is have your heart and mind fixed and stayed on Jesus and on his promises and as a result (natural by-product) you will have perfect peace. Perfect peace doesn't just fall out of heaven onto your head and all of a sudden you have these emotions. Peace is a by-product of the right focus. If you're focused on the right thing, you experienced the right thing. If you're focused on the wrong thing, you'll experience negative emotions.
Decide in your heart that whatever happens in the future, you're always going to respond with, “Father. I'm trusting you. I'm not going to let my heart be troubled.” And I can promise you that it's going to change everything. It's going to enable you to get on the right course to be able to move forward, but you will only be able to do that if your heart is really trusting in God because you know his word, you know his promises, and so you can confidently declared what the outcome of that situation should be.