The greatest thing that I have learned in The Way Ministry is the knowledge and understanding that God loves me. From my first days with this ministry until now, I have known God as a loving Father, and I am helped daily because I trust in Him and His Word. This has given me a firm foundation to stand upon.
Prior to my involvement with this ministry, I wasn’t sure what God thought about me. I didn’t know if I was good enough for Him to love. I believed that God’s love was available to those who lived a good life, a life without sin, and that His love and concern for me was passive, available only if the situation or need was important enough. I would barter with God for His help and His love. If He helped me I would promise to go to church more. I would keep my promise for a while, but something would happen and I would break my promise, losing God’s love, I thought.
But then someone taught me what God’s Word says about the love of God. I learned that God has an active love and concern for my life. Shortly after taking the Foundational Class, I became ill from a reoccurring stomach virus. My friend who had gotten me into the Word said, “You can believe for God to heal you.” I said, “I don’t need to do that. This will be gone in a week. Besides, I will lose a little weight.”
She tried to encourage me to believe for God’s healing, but I thought, why bother God with this? It is not life threatening. With medication I will only be sick for about a week. I will not be able to eat without discomfort, but I will lose a few extra pounds. Why should I involve God?
A couple of nights later, I went out to have ice cream with some friends, thinking I should be able to tolerate ice cream. I ordered a banana split. It looked delicious, but one spoonful and it was too painful to finish. I was sad, but what surprised me was that I knew that God was hurt for me. He was not happy that I was not able to enjoy my ice cream. God loved me and was that concerned for me. Since God cared so much for me, I knew I should believe to be healed.
I was so excited to believe God. I was thrilled to be doing something with God. I prayed and thanked God for His love and concern. Then I wrote down verses that I thought would help me to claim my deliverance:
I Peter 2:24:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
III John 2:
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
I John 3:2:
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
II Timothy 1:7:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I wrote down the definition for fear that a believer had taught me: FEAR—false evidence appearing real.
The next day, I went to the student union, bought a hot fudge sundae with nuts, and sat down. I prayed and thanked God for healing me. I read the verses I had written down and ate a spoonful of ice cream. Pain. I said, “False evidence appearing real. By his stripes I have already been healed.” I ate another spoonful. Pain. I read through all the verses again. Then… “One more spoonful and I’m finished. This is the best hot fudge sundae that I have ever had!” As I thought about how good that ice cream was, I began to realize that there was no more pain. I don’t know when it stopped, but it was gone for good.
God loved me and was concerned for me. He cared about this small part of my life. I knew that He meant what He said, that His Word could be trusted. Over the years I have sought God’s help in situations big and small. As I have grown in my knowledge of God’s Word, I have learned to believe God more. But I always come back to God’s love and concern for me. It is real and never ending. God always has time for me. I don’t have to be perfect for Him to love me. This knowledge has given me a firm foundation to stand on for over forty years.