God Knows Your Every Hurt

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Remind yourself that God knows exactly how much you can take, and he will not permit you to reach a breaking point. Our loving Father said, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV).

The worst kind of blasphemy is to think God is behind all your hurt and pain, that it is the heavenly Father harshly punishing you, that God thinks you need one or two more heartbreaks before you are ready to receive his blessings. Not so!

It is true that the Lord chastens those he loves, but that chastening is only for a season, and it is not meant to break us. God is not the author of confusion in your life. The enemy often tries to hurt us through other humans, just as he tried to hurt Job through an unbelieving wife.

Your heavenly Father watches over you with an unwavering eye. Every move is monitored; every tear is bottled. He feels your every hurt, and he knows when you have been exposed to enough harassment from the enemy. He steps in and says, “Enough!” When your pain no longer draws you close to the Lord and, instead, begins to downgrade your spiritual life, God moves in. He will not permit a trusting child of his to go under because of too much pain and agony in their soul.

God will lift you out of the battle for a while. He will never allow your hurt to destroy your mind. He promises to come, right on time, to wipe away your tears and give you joy for mourning.

God’s Word says, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever” (Psalm 30:11-12). God will strengthen our hearts as we go through pain, and he will give us reason to rejoice in his glorious power in due season.

Preparation for Your Trials

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

It is impossible to live a holy life without spending much time on your knees, seeking God for the power and authority to lead such a life. We see this in Daniel’s life, as well as God’s response to such a seeker.

“I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes…. Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering” (Daniel 9:3, 20-21, NKJV).

Don’t be mistaken; faithful praying will not keep you out of a crisis. On the contrary, it will most likely bring you to a furnace of trials, but prayer will prepare you to face it all with trust, to become a living sacrifice for Jesus’ sake.

Daniel’s praying led him straight to the lions’ den, and this test came when Daniel was in his old age, after years of faithful service to his king and dedication to his God. This may frighten you, especially if you wonder how long it will be before you stop having crises. Perhaps you thought you’d learned all your “important” lessons after a certain number of years in the Lord, but here God is allowing one of his greatest prayer warriors — a man of a quiet, tender spirit — to face the crisis of his life after decades of faithful intercession!

This is why Paul, in his command for believers to put on their spiritual armor, ended with “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Beloved, the testing only ends when Jesus comes or when you die in Christ! This is why prayer is so important. You can make a commitment to live an undefiled life, but that commitment is impossible to fulfill without also having a commitment to seek God.

Tested by Evil and Blessed by God

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

When Daniel and his three friends were taken captive along with thousands of their countrymen, what they saw when they first arrived in Babylon must have shocked them beyond belief. It was a society so loose, immoral and full of idolatry that these four men’s spiritual sensibilities were assailed.

Daniel and his friends made a commitment. They told each other, “We dare not compromise. We dare not adopt these moral standards. We will be separate, and we will be disciplined in our walk of faith.” These four men did not go about preaching their way of life to others. It was strictly a matter between them and God, and I believe they had something more in mind than avoiding anything ceremonially unclean.

“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8, NKJV).

The word ‘defile’ in this verse suggests “freeing through repudiation.” Daniel was saying, in other words, “Any compromise of my standards will rob me of my freedom.” When he told the chief of the eunuchs this, the man answered, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king” (Daniel 1:10).

Rather than backing down, Daniel invited the chief of eunuchs to test him and his friends, and God honored them. “As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17).

When you’re in a crisis, do you cry out, “Lord, where are you when I need you? Aren’t you committed to my deliverance?”

What if in that moment, the Lord should say to you, “Where are you when I need a voice? I need voices in these sinful times, pure vessels through whom I can speak. You say you want me to come to your crisis, yet you remain a part of the wicked, worldly system. Tell me, are you committed to my purposes? Will you allow yourself to be tested and trust that I will preserve and bless you?” How will you answer him?

Worshiping the Holy One

Gary Wilkerson

Do you ever see people acting holy? They’re the ones who usually tell you, “I’m fasting today.” They’re also usually the ones that make you feel guilty.

The Jewish Rabbis that you see down by the Wailing Wall, they look very holy. I mean, they kind of dress holy, if there’s such a thing. I was in Israel once down at the Wailing Wall, and a holy man walked up to me. He was very kind, and he even showed me the synagogue, then at the end, he said that he would pray for me and my family and that he would be very willing to accept my donation for his seven children.

I’m not trying to be offensive at all, but that experience proves that we’re not made holy by what we wear. We can perhaps be unholy by what we wear, but there’s not a holy outfit except one, and God wears it. It’s his perfect purity. It’s illuminous, full of glory. It’s also not just something that he puts on in the morning. If he could borrow my suit, I think it would start glowing as well, not because of the garment itself but because of the holiness in God.

When John, who wrote about God being love, had a vision of heaven, he also got a revelation about God’s nature. He observed angelic beings singing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8, ESV).

God isn’t holy sometimes. He doesn’t ever have to repent. He doesn’t make a single mistake. He doesn’t put his head down and say, “For seven billion years now, I’ve lived a perfect life until Gary Wilkerson made me mad.” He needs no repentance. He doesn’t have to have his son come to him and say, “Father, get your act together” because he is holy always, totally, fully.

That truth should cause us to fall down like the 24 elders John also saw in his vision and cry out, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11). Hallelujah!

Living a 5,000 Dollar Life

Tim Dilena

One day while we’re living in Detroit, we get this knock on the door. Turns out, it’s movie producers for S.W.A.T. II, and they say to us, “We’d like to put your house in the scene. The actors who are pretending to be the ‘owners’ of your house will be standing on the sidewalk. Nobody’s going to go inside your house or anything. But we’d like to pay you for it.”

I say, “This is awesome! Sure!”

So they bring all of the paperwork and give me 50 dollars. Now I’ve got a check for 50 big ones that says S.W.A.T. II Firestorm on it. They tell me, “You’re welcome to come out and watch.”

So sure enough, I’m out there with some of the guys, and I ask them, “You asked me if it was okay to have my house in this film the morning of the shoot. What would’ve happened if I’d said no?”

He says, “Well, then we would’ve negotiated. Sometimes we’ll pay upward of 4,000 or 5,000 to film someone’s house.”

I’m walking around with a $50 check that could’ve been 5,000. The issue wasn’t really a money thing, but I kept thinking about how many times we sell ourselves short and live a 50-dollar existence when God has so much more for us. We just stop with “Hey, I got the job. I’m going to pay my bills.” Do you work a job, or do you get paid for your passion?

Those who wake up excited have found their gift and are walking in it. They refused to accept the $50 check. They’re living out the verse, “Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” (Matthew 25:19-21, ESV).

If we want to be that kind of person, there are a few things we need to do.

  • • Be the best, most trustworthy person at your work. Go above and beyond!

  • • Learn spiritual disciplines while in the workplace.

  • • Pay attention to the areas over which God breaks your heart.

  • • Always leave a place well and with integrity.

After pastoring an inner-city congregation in Detroit for thirty years, Pastor Tim served at Brooklyn Tabernacle in NYC for five years and pastored in Lafayette, Louisiana, for five years. He became Senior Pastor of Times Square Church in May of 2020.