Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Dannah Gresh: Every day Revive Our Hearts provides encouragement to be more like Jesus. That’s what one listener wrote to tell us.

Woman: I appreciate the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. Every time I listen, God uses it for my sanctification. This is a much-needed ministry of our day, and I am so thankful for the work God is doing through you. Thank you for speaking truth.

Dannah: You know, God definitely uses this program for my sanctification, too, Nancy.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: I feel exactly the same way, Dannah.

I’m so thankful for the listeners who make it possible. As you may be aware, Revive Our Hearts is a listener-supported ministry. We couldn’t be here on podcast and on the radio each day without your prayers and financial support.

As we've been sharing over the last couple weeks, Revive Our Hearts is facing a significant financial need as we come to the end of our fiscal year at the end of this month. So we are crying out to the Lord and asking Him to supply what He knows is needed. And, Dannah, I want to encourage every listener to get involved in some way.

Dannah: Yes, and there's one way that everyone can get involved—pray with us that this need will be met. We are overwhelmingly grateful for the ways God has provided for us in the past. Through the generosity of listeners like you, we have been able to continue our ministry and expand it. For that, we are so thankful, and we trust that He will provide again.

Nancy: We realize that this is a tough season for many of us, and it may not be a time you able to give financially. I know that as you take your own needs to the Lord, He will provide what you need in this season. But if your needs have been met and and you’d like to give a special gift to Revive Our Hearts, that would mean a lot at this time. Thank you for praying for us during this time, and thank you for giving as you are able. I'm so grateful for your part in this ministry that God is using to set women free through the truth of His Word.

Dannah: If you’d like to make a donation online, visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can give us a call at 1–800–569–5959. Thank you so much for joining Revive Our Hearts as together we call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Lies Women Believe, for Wednesday, May 13. I’m Dannah Gresh.

So be honest with me. What tempts you to fear? Especially in recent months, you’ve likely faced the temptation to fear—whether it’s in the areas of health, getting enough groceries, losing your job, or a variety of other consuming worries. Thousands of people are still out of work, wondering when life will "get back to normal." The biblical principles Nancy explored during the recession in 2008 are still applicable for you and me today.

We began part one yesterday. How can you survive and thrive when there’s so much to worry about? Let’s listen.

Nancy: The points that I’m sharing in this special three-day series are available online in an article that we've produced called "Hope for Uncertain Times."

I shared the first of those ten points yesterday, which was look upward in times of uncertainty and crisis rather than looking outward or inward.

If your focus is on your circumstances (outward) or yourself (inward) rather than upward on God, then you’re going to fall into fear and insecurity. You’re going to start hoarding, clinging to what you have, and you’re going to end up depressed and in despair.

That’s the downward cycle that so many people are on today, even some believers. What it means to be a believer in Christ is to have a very different kind of response.

  • Rather than fear, we respond in faith.
  • Rather than insecurity, we place our confidence in the Lord.
  • Rather than hoarding, we demonstrate generosity. 
  • Rather than falling prey to depression and discouragement and despair, we can illustrate joy and hope in the Lord.

That’s the first point. Make sure that your focus is upward. Now, here’s a second point, and I’m hopefully going to share six points in our program today, and then the last few tomorrow.

But number two: Tell God your needs. Pray. You say, “That’s not really the help I was looking for.” But how often do we whine or complain or worry or fret or stress about our needs, and we talk about prayer, but we don’t actually do it.

Ask God to use this season of turmoil and uncertainty to accomplish His purposes—to bring about revival and spiritual awakening in our churches and in our country.

Philippians 4, you know this verse, “The Lord is at hand" (v. 5). The Lord is near. So what is the implication of that? “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (vv. 5–6).

Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer, we’ve said this so many, many times, but do we practice it? He said, “When you pray, this is one of the things you ought to say: ‘Give us this day our daily bread’” (Matt. 6:11).

Most of us don’t really need to ask God for food for today most of the time, but there are some listening to this program today who do need daily bread and don’t know where it’s coming from.

Probably all of us know people for whom it’s not a given that there will be food on the table today, and it can be a scary thing. But it can also be a really healthy thing for us to have those seasons of our lives where we have to ask God, “Lord, would You provide us with our daily bread?”

It’s desperation that makes us cry out to God. With each of these points, I’ve listed a couple of “Making It Personal” questions so we can take this home. Here are the questions on this point:

  • Have you prayed about it?
  • Are you asking God to provide your daily bread and show you what steps of action He may want you to take?
  • Are you praying for revival? 

So, tell God your needs.

Number three: Learn the secret of contentment. Paul says, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content . . . In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Phil. 4:11–12).

What is that secret? The secret is contentment—choosing to believe that God has provided everything I need for this present moment.

You say, “Well, what about what I need tomorrow?” Contentment is not only believing that God has provided all that I need for this moment, that what He has given me for now is enough, but also believing that when I need something in the future, He will provide that, as well.

Now what God provides in our time of need may be less than it was previously. Contentment enables us to live within what God provides and to give Him thanks for what He provides.

First Timothy tells us that "there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing [basic necessities of life], with these we will be content” (6:6–8).

So the question we need to ask ourselves at a time like this is are there any seeds of discontentment showing themselves in my words or in my attitude—in my spirit?

  • Is there murmuring?
  • Is there complaining?
  • Is there fretting?
  • Is there expressing that what God has provided is not sufficient to meet our needs?

A child of God can have a contented heart, even when the supply is less—when you have to cut back, as Revive Our Hearts is doing at this time, as many of you are having to do.

Many people are having to do that, but we can still have a contented heart knowing that God has provided, and will provide all that we need.

Number four: Ask God to fulfill His purposes. God uses adversity to show us what’s in our hearts. He uses adversity to purify us and to deepen our dependence on Him.

Seasons of leanness can prove to be times of great blessing as we are stripped of self-reliance, and people’s hearts are turned toward the Lord. So we can thank God for lean times because God uses those to purify us, to test us.

God uses adversity to show us what’s in our hearts, to purify us, and to deepen our dependence on Him.

One of the best verses I know of in the Scriptures that makes that point is in Deuteronomy chapter 8, where Moses is rehearsing the history of the children of Israel.

He talks about God’s provision, but he also says, “[God] humbled you and let you hunger” (v. 3). Now, that’s not something we wish was in the Bible. “God let you hunger?”

“[God] humbled you and let you hunger,” Moses said, and here’s the rest of it, “And fed you with manna.” There were times when God let you hunger so that He could show you that He could feed you.

He fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (v. 3).

You see, in Israel’s history, those times of leanness became opportunities to be more reliant and dependent upon God.

So as you think about the purposes of God and what He’s trying to accomplish in these lean times in our nation and in perhaps your own life and family, are you more focused on meeting your needs and solving your problems or on seeing God’s redemptive purposes fulfilled—God’s purposes in your life and in those around you and in our world?

If it’s necessary for you to suffer loss or to be materially poor, is that something you’re willing to embrace? Is that something I’m willing to embrace if that would result in God being glorified and His kingdom being advanced?

We have to say, "Whose agenda are we on? God's? Or ours? If it is our agenda, then we say, "All that matters is getting a job, having money, getting my needs met, solving my problems." But if we are on God's agenda, we say, "Lord, if you can fulfill your agenda better by our ministry or our family or our church or my husband's business not having the abundance we've had at times in the past, if that would glorify You and fulfill Your purpose, then we say, "Yes, Lord, we'll accept what Your purposes are. We want You to be glorified."

And then number five: Allow God to purify your heart. Lean times can be a means of God’s chastening. Not always. Sometimes the righteous suffer along with the unrighteous, sometimes it’s just part of living in a fallen world, but you’ve got to admit, in times of adversity, God gets our attention.

So, personally or corporately, this can be an expression of God’s discipline. Ask God whether that’s the case in your life. Ask Him what He’s trying to say to you through these circumstances. Let Him search your heart, and then respond in humility and obedience.

You say, “What kinds of things might we need to confess?” I’ll tell you some things that people are realizing need to be repented of are:

  • living beyond our means
  • irresponsible debt
  • fear
  • greed
  • temporal values 
  • bitterness
  • withholding our tithes and offerings from the Lord’s work
  • lack of compassion for others in need

Say, “Lord, are there any of these things or other things that are in my heart that I need to repent of, that need to be confessed? Allow God to purify your heart.”

And then, number six: Allow God to reorder your priorities as needed

Times of economic hardship or loss have a way of exposing what really matters to us, what we really love. These times of loss and hardship provide an opportunity to identify if we have a tendency to accumulate stuff that we don’t need.

I know that when I walk into my closet in my house and I start to think about others who are really strapped financially, all of a sudden I start to see that I have all kinds of things that I really don't need.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having additional things if God blesses you with those. God gives us richly all things to enjoy at certain seasons of our lives, but if we feel that we have to have those things to be happy, then our priorities need to be reordered. I believe God is wanting some of us—maybe a lot of us—to take steps to simplify our lives during these tight times to develop a more temperate or moderate lifestyle.

I think in a lot of our souls, as a result of the last couple of decades of affluence, we've been stuffed. We're over full; we have sick feelings in our souls. God may be wanting to strengthen and make our souls more healthy by helping us develop a more simple and moderate lifestyle.

I found myself recently just in a desire to not to have to cut back on my personal giving. I realized I have two choices. I can live on less, or I can give less. I don’t want to be in a position of having to give less. That may be required, but the first thing I want to say is, “Could I live on less?”

What are some areas where I could really reorder my priorities and say, “Is this really a need, or is this just a want? Is this something I have to have, or is this something, at least for this time, could be put away so that I could be put in a position to share with others who truly are in need?”

I think we need to redefine what constitutes the need. Some of us need to make adjustments in our spending so that we can live within our means so we can give to meet the needs of others.

And then, number seven: Put your confidence in the Lord. In times of financial uncertainty or loss, we demonstrate what we’re really trusting in.

  • Are we trusting in our job to provide for our needs? an employer?
  • Are we trusting in our salary?
  • Are we trusting in the stock market?
  • Are we trusting in our investments?
  • Are we trusting in the government to meet our needs?
  • Are we trusting in a mate? parents? friends?
  • OR are we trusting in God?

First Timothy 6, Paul tells us believers, “[Don’t] set your hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but [set your hope] on God” (v. 17). Put your confidence in the Lord. He can be trusted. He loves you. He knows what you’re facing. He cares for you.

These circumstances in your life, in your family, in your workplace, in your church, in our ministry and others like ours; these circumstances have not caught God off guard. He is still very much on His throne, and He is accomplishing His purposes in your life and in this world.

I know this could sound like a trite saying, but it really is the bedrock in times like these: We’ve got to trust God to meet our needs and to believe that He will provide.

God can go to extraordinary lengths to meet the needs of His children, and I believe that now is the time for us to see and to demonstrate what God really can do.

I love that story, that passage—and I wish we had time to walk through the whole passage—but let me encourage you to read it in 1 Kings chapter 17, it’s the first 16 verses.

You remember the story where Elijah, the prophet, went to the king, Ahab, and said, “For the next three years, there is going to be no rain in the land.” God was disciplining His people.

Then God took care of His prophet in the midst of this drought. And it’s just a wonderful story. It will strengthen your heart. Let me just summarize it for you.

God told him first, “I want you to go and hide by this brook, Cherith, east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” (see vv. 3–4).

So God miraculously provides a brook when the brooks are all running dry in the land and provides ravens for Elijah to have food and water, in a time when people were running out of food and water.

You say, “Well, that’s Old Testament. God doesn’t do things like that today.” You know what, I think one of the biggest reasons we don’t see God do things like that today is either we’re not desperate enough, or we don’t believe that He can.

If God needs to send ravens to feed your family, He can do that! And what an opportunity for us to show to the world the power of God.

So Elijah went. He camped out at the brook, and the ravens brought him the bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening. God knew he needed two square meals a day and provided them during that economic crisis.

But then it says, after a while, the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land. So what’s going to happen now? And you can imagine the prophet saying, “Lord, you’ve provided for me all of this time, but now this source has dried up.”

Do you have a source of provision in your life or in the life of someone you love that has dried up? God provided it for a time, but now it’s not there. God says, “Arise, go to Zarephath. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you” (v. 9).

Now in a time of drought, for a widow to be his source of provision was just as unlikely as a raven to be his source of provision, but God specializes in the impossible.

So he goes to Zarephath, and he finds a widow who is gathering sticks, and he says to her, “Could you get me a little water to have a drink?” She goes to get the water, and then he says, “Could you bring me a piece of bread that I could have something to eat?”

She then tells him she is in desperate, dire straits. She says, “I have nothing—no food in the house. All I have is a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug.”

And then she says, “Right now, I’m gathering sticks so I can go in a make a fire, prepare my flour and oil for myself and my son so that we can eat it, and then we’re going to die” (see vv. 8–12).

Here’s a woman in despair, and God sends Elijah to her house and says, “I want to provide for you through this destitute widow.” And I love Elijah’s words to her.

He says, “Do not fear.” Don’t be afraid. “Go and do what you said. Make the cake, but first give me a portion.” Don’t fear. Be generous. “And then make some for yourself and your son” (v. 13, paraphrased).

So the woman steps out in faith. She does what the prophet says, and God makes to her the promise and then fulfills the promise that until the day that the rain comes back on the land, that jar of flour will never run out, and the jug of oil will never be empty.

And God fed His prophet; He fed that widow; He fed her son. When people around were famished, were starving, God met their needs. You can trust in the Lord.

Go read Matthew chapter 6. "Don’t be anxious about your life—what you’re going to eat or what you’re going to drink, clothing, what you’re going to wear. God will provide" (v. 25 paraphrased).

Remember what God has done in the past, how He’s provided. Rely on His character. Rehearse His promises. Refuse to give in to fear or anxiety.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. (Ps. 46:1–2). 

We could say in modern terms, “though the stock market plummets to all-time, inconceivable lows, though our bank accounts get emptied out, we will not fear. Our confidence is in the Lord.”

In the meantime, be careful about taking matters into your own hands. That’s an expression of fear. Don’t let fear or panic drive you to make decisions or to go places that God does not want you to go.

Abraham did that in the Old Testament in a time of famine. He went down to Egypt, and he picked up a whole lot of problems along the way.

Elimelech and his family did that in the book of Ruth. They left Israel in a time of famine and went to Moab, and they ended up with a lot of problems—with death and discouragement and issues.

Don’t let fear and panic take you to places that God is not leading you.

Lord, how I pray that in these fearful times, You will find us being believing people and that our responses to these issues and challenges will demonstrate to the world how great, how powerful, how mighty You are, that they will see Your hand at work.

May we see miracles that only You can do, and we’ll be able to tell the next generation years from now, “This is what God did. This is how He provided.” I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Dannah: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth recorded that message at the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008. In a world that’s still feeling very unsettled and afraid, I hope you’ll allow God’s truth to calm your heart.

Nancy: And, Dannah, those very truths that I shared with women in 2008 are the same truths I'm going back to as our team is trusting God to meet the needs of this ministry during the month of May.

It really is precious to see how God's truth can settle and calm our hearts—even when we are in a difficult place.

Dannah: If the Lord prompts you to donate to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts, we’d like to send you a book as our way of thanking you. Uncommon Compassion by Erin Davis is a new resource that shows us how God’s compassion transforms us and gives us a new compassion for others.

Get your copy of Uncommon Compassion when you give a gift of any amount online at ReviveOurHearts.com, or by calling 1–800–569–5959. You won’t hear many financial experts counseling you to give money away as a response to crisis, but generosity is actually very wise. Nancy will explain why, tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth encourages you to place your confidence in God with complete trust. This program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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