Wendy Pope

"Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil." 2 Kings 4:2b (NLT)

It had been almost one year since my husband began having serious health problems. We followed the correct protocol in regards to doctors. First we went to see his general physician, followed all his instructions but nothing changed. The general physician sent us to a specialist. We followed his instructions. Nothing changed. For months we rode the roller coaster of uncertainty, hoping each new physician and medication would give us answers. All efforts were to no avail. My husband continued to have problems without solutions. My faith wavered. I believed God for a miracle, but doubted one would ever come.

The process wore us down physically, mentally, and spiritually. There were people literally all over world praying for us. Why didn't God, the Great Physician, hear the cries of His people and answer them? Why couldn't my husband have a miracle? In a last ditch effort for answers…for a miracle…my husband prayerfully went to a specialist in another city. I was unable to make the trip with him. Little did I know God had a miracle for me right here at home.

That week, I read in the Bible of a woman who was long on sorrows and short on faith. She was desperate. I saw my own story between the lines of hers. This widow's husband had accrued a debt the widow was unable to pay; authorities were coming to take her sons as slaves in order to satisfy the debt. She exercised what little faith she had by bringing her sorrows to the one person she believed could help, the prophet Elisha. Elisha instructed the woman to have her sons collect empty jars from her neighbors and, from the one flask of olive oil she had left, fill the jars then sell the oil to pay the debt. The women obeyed. Miraculously there were enough full jars of oil to pay her husband's creditors.

As I pondered on this widow's desperate plight, God instructed me to follow her example. He asked me to bring my empty jars (figuratively) to the altar at the close of the church service the following Sunday morning. I did not understand nor did I want to obey. I was long on sorrows and short on faith. Throughout the week I felt His nearness and His prompting to bring my empty jars to Him. Throughout the week I continued to tell Him no. I was scared. I did not want others to make a fuss over me at the altar. I did not want to be disappointed again.

Sunday morning came, I was still arguing with the Lord. Imagine my surprise as I heard the pastor say, "Open your Bibles to 2 Kings 4:38-44." God had arranged a miracle for me. The miracle wasn't to heal my husband, but to heal my faith, to fill my emptiness with a new faith that I would carry throughout the journey of my husband's uncertain future. At the close of the sermon, with fear and trembling I took my empty jars to the altar. The moment was personal and precious. It was as if I was the only one in the sanctuary with the Lord. He met me there and made me faith-full.

Do you desire to be faith-full today? Are you long on sorrows and short on faith? Gather your empty jars and take them to the only One who can help you. The Lord will meet you there. It will be personal and precious. He will fill your jars with enough faith to get you through the known and the unknown. Only God can make you faith-full.

Dear Lord, sweet Jesus. I believe in You. Today, help me believe You. I bring You my empty jars of faith asking You to make me faith-full. I don't want to be a woman long on sorrows, short on faith any more. I know You are the only One who can help me. Help me know You are good. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Click here for a variety of teachings on CD by Wendy Pope

Visit Wendy’s blog to hear the rest of the story.

When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference by Carolyn Custis James

A Woman Who Fears the Lord - T-Shirt

Application Steps:
Gather your empty jars and take them to the only One who can help you. Go to "the altar" in your kitchen, beside your desk, in the park, or wherever you are. Give Him your uncertain future, your desperate present, and the failures of your past.

What fear are you struggling with today?

Why is it difficult for you to bring your emptiness to God?

Do you believe God can make you faith-full?

Power Verses:
Genesis 15:6, "And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. (NIV)

Hebrews 11:6, "And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." (NIV)

James 2:14, "What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions?" (NIV)

© 2010 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Daddy is Awesome. I love the way He confirms when He speaks to us. This is confrimation for me, God has speaking to me about faith in the season that I am in! I love Him,He is soooooo amazing. Bless you sis for this Devotion!

Blogger Renee said...

Thank you Wendy for posting this devotional. Had an experience this past week involving my youngest daughter and a ambulance, sirene's blaring and lights flashing...the unknown was closing in on my faith as well, but GOD showed up and breathed His breath of life into my faith. He reminded me that all year He has been asking me this one question, over and over in my quiet time..."Do you trust Me, Do you truly believe in ME?" "Do you trust me with the lives of your children?" Yes, Lord you are the only one who can be trusted with their very lives.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really want to be faith-full in my life. I know when times become hard and you are believing for a healing or miracle in your life and it is a long time in coming my faith tends to waiver. I know my God is in the miracle working business, because I have heard so many testimonies. Just last Sunday I heard of a missionary in Mexico that experienced not 1 but 2 miracles. She had stage four cancer in her body, alot of people have been praying for her, she had 360 or more cancer cells, after her first treatment it went down to around 70, after her second treatment it went into the 30's. Her doctor asked if people had been praying for her and she said yes. He also asked if they were praying for him because he felt someone guiding his hands as he administered the treatment. Their second miracle happened when they were in a grocery store in Topeke Mexico, when they walked in they thought something just was not right, however they continued to shop, all of a sudden she got very sick and they had to leave. After they left she felt better, they found out that after they left 8 people were shot and killed. WE DO

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is awesome, I had been praying for a miracle and God sent this verse to me several times. Zechariah 4:6 Not by might nor by power but by MY SPIRIT says the Lord Almighty. The last time I got the verse was in the mail from Bill Graham's ministry, just a bookmark that said PRAY. and then the verse. So even when the prayer is not answered right away he sent a message to me to not loose faith , but to pray, even thru loosing our home to foreclosure, after many hours in prayer for it to sell so we would not have to face the loss and all the emotions of it, God is telling me to pray, we have moved and our son is still in the same school and our rent is a 1/3 of what we were spending for our house payment, that in itself is a blessing. God has shown us what is really important and we will continue to trust him.

Anonymous michelle said...

Thank you for this devotion this morning. I have been beset by doubt and fears as I prepare to send my youngest son to war in afghanistan. I want to hand it all to my Father but I am still holding back a portion of fear for myself. I need to give Him ALL my fears and let Him carry my burden. Thank you for reminding me to have faith that He is in charge and He knows how I feel. I need to give Him all control. Bless you and your ministry.

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

Thank you so much for this! I can't tell you how much I needed this today. We have not been waiting on a physical healing but a financial one. Thank you for reminding me that at just the perfect time God will fill our emptyness and meet our needs.

Anonymous Lynne said...

Thanks for your transparency, Wendy. I, too, have been suffering with physical pain the past two and a half years, and it threatens to take away my joy each time I experience it. I need to be filled each day with HIM in order to get through it. He inevitably gives the grace I need to make it through the day. His Grace is full, His timing is perfect, and HIS ways are NOT my ways. I keep remembering that this suffering is what is making me more like the Lord, Jesus. If there was not purpose for everything God allows, where would we be?

Blogger ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Thank you Wendy for this post. It pierced through my heart. Faith is sooo hard and especially when we are just plain wondering where God is.

You are a beautiful woman inside and out and the Lord is speaking through you!

Much love in Him,

Anonymous Ellen Staley said...

Your message touched my heart. I too have had my faith recently filled and tested. But our awesome Savior and Lord Jesus Christ prepared me in advance through Christian fiction! He renewed my awareness of Him and the need to absolutely trust Him in every area of my life. That began back in January. By March, it was obvious that my husband suffered from a medical problem. By May, we had a diagnosis, cancer. My husband and I were bathed in prayer from many churches. During his first week in the hospital, God gave me a song to cling to, one that continued to fill my faith, No Matter What by Kerrie Roberts. Though prayer for healing continued, Jesus chose to completely heal my husband by taking him home. My faith has not wavered at all. Jesus' plan was absolutely the best for my husband. With hindsight, I am humbled that God was at work in our lives over a year ago specifically to support me through this. Though I endure sorrows, they are not greater than the faith He renewed in me. What an awesome God we serve, that He would and does prepare our heart for His purpose. I have been a believer for 27 years. Any yet my faith is freshly renewed. Praise to our Heavenly Father and to Jesus our Savior and Lord.

Blogger Unknown said...

My Father is so amazing, we go to the doctors with my son on tomorrow, for a check up he had cancer but everytime it is time for him to go in the doubt starts sitting in again. God is truly speaking to me today. God yes I want to be faith filled. Thanks Wendy.

Blogger S. Kim Henson said...

It's been a loooong year and I've been equally long on sorrows and short on faith throughout a lot of it. But recently, as I've been more willing to receive confirmation that God is not punishing but instead taking me to a place of greater faith, I've gotten what I've needed. Your story was one of those confirmations. Thanks!

Anonymous Amanda said...

I stand amazed at the Lord's goodness. My husband and I are college pastors at a university in Oklahoma. We have known for some time that we are called to full time ministry but due to our finances we have had to both continue working full time, secular jobs in addition to doing full time ministry. Over the past few weeks we heard the Lord telling us to begin raising missionary support so that we could truly follow the calling he has placed upon our life. This past Monday, he unexpectedly was laid-off from his job which will take effect in 2 months. As I had my quiet time yesterday morning, I turned to 2 Kings 4 and felt as though I was looking in the mirror. As I saw this women who had "only a little oil" I saw God asking me to allow him to empty our lives with all that is not His will and that He might be the one to refill us with his direction. I was broken. I saw my lack of faith was in complete disobedience to God and that he has called us to walk by faith and not by sight. I was walking in fear, anger and worry. I walk each morning with Suzie Eller and as we walked this morning and I shared with her what God was revealing to me and she asked if I had read yesterday's devo. I just did -- 24 hours after God spoke those words into my heart. I love that God was working on a miracle to give me a boost that He is near and He sees everything that is going on. So, as we enter this season of uncertainty, I pray that the Holy Spirit help me to lead a faith-full life and to know He is FAITHFUL!

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