#FAITH : WORRIER or WARRIOR?

November 26, 2019

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you rest in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

In these two verses the Apostle Paul is challenging us with two options: when we are facing challenging problems we can worry about them, or we can turn our challenging problems into prayer requests. The reason Paul writes that we are not to worry is because worry is counterproductive. He therefore prescribes that if we are overwhelmed with problems, we should let our mountains of problems turn us into prayer warriors.

We have two options: we can be worriers, or we can be warriors.

Prayer changes things! Worry, on the other hand does not change anything except for severe negative consequences it can have on our bodies, souls and spirits. When we consider the devastating effects of worry and the miraculous results of answered prayer, that no-brainer should resolve our two options into one.

When we realize we are anxious or uptight and we know it is because we are choosing to be worriers, we should ask God to convert us into prayer warriors. We should hold our problems up before God and trade our futile worries for powerful prayers. God may deliver us from those problems or give us the grace to cope with them. But, in either case, God will give us peace.

Paul writes that God will stand guard like a soldier over our hearts and minds and give us supernatural peace as we rest in what Christ will do.

Dick Woodward, 29 November 2011


Thimble vs. Truckload Faith

August 14, 2015

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress..” (Psalm 4:1)

While I was learning that God is there, real and personal I met with one of my mentors after experiencing the divine presence of God in a mighty way.  I told Paris Reidhead, “My cup is just running over, Paris!” His response was: “How big is your cup, Dick?  It doesn’t take much to run over a thimble.  Why don’t you ask God to turn your thimble into a cup, your cup into a bucket, and your bucket into a truckload?”

I did pray that prayer, fervently.  At that time I did not know that according to verse above God’s vehicle for that kind of growth is distress.  If you want to know what distress is, just drop the first two letters:  God uses stress to grow us spiritually, just as putting stress on our muscles grows us physically.

Over the next few years I found myself going through deep waters and fiery trials.  When we had three toddlers and two in diapers my wife was hospitalized four times in one year in a hospital 100 miles away from our home.  During that crisis, as I juggled pastoring a church and mothering our five children the Lord enlarged me, big time!

Years later I lost my health and became a bed fast quadriplegic. That is when I really learned the “Four Spiritual Secrets” which have enabled me to minister beyond anything I could have imagined.

When you want to grow spiritually I dare you to ask God to turn your thimble into a cup, your cup into a bucket, and your bucket into a truckload.

Dick Woodward, 08 March 2013

Editors Note: A reminder, the Four Spiritual Secrets are:

I’m not, but He is.
And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I can’t, but He can.

And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I don’t want to, but He wants to.

And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I didn’t, but He did.
Because I was in Him and He was in me.


Adversity or Atrophy

October 15, 2013

“…  Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress…”  (Psalm 4:1 KJV)

Just about every emotional challenge we experience today was faced by the psalmist many years ago.  If we will observe what he did when he struggled, and receive from God the grace to respond as the hymn writer responded, we can often overcome our emotional challenges.

In Psalm 4 the psalmist faces the emotional challenge of distress.  If you drop the first two letters, the word becomes stress.  We all have stress.  If we do not have stress we atrophy.  I have not put stress on my legs for 30 years.  Consequently, my legs are the size of your arms. “If you don’t use it you lose it” is the way the physical therapists describe atrophy.

Our loving Father God knows that what is true for our bodies is also true in our spiritual life. God is fiercely committed to the proposition that we are going to grow spiritually.  If we have no spiritual stress we will experience spiritual atrophy.  He therefore will not only permit, but direct into our lives any stress that will grow us as He gives us the grace to cope with that stress.

God tells us through the prophet Isaiah: “I create calamity” (Isaiah 45:7).  Many of us can trust God for the good things that comfort and sustain us.  But do we have the faith and the knowledge of God to see Him in the challenges that make the difference for us between spiritual growth and atrophy?

The Greek compound word hupomone, translated as “perseverance” in our English Bibles, literally means “to abide under.”  To apply hupomone, we should ask God for the grace to abide under stress, grow spiritually, and not atrophy.