Enormous Marriage Restoration Needs Great Spiritual Growth

I recently had someone ask me to explain what I meant when I said that it is good for covenant keepers to experience times of need so that they can exercise their spiritual muscles to trust God to supply all their needs. This is especially true while standing for your marriage. When I began giving my answer it made me realize that the time of my most explosive spiritual growth was during my greatest need. Please keep in mind as I recount these times that I’m not saying God causes bad things to happen to us so that we will grow spiritually. I believe, and Jesus says, that the devil comes “only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10 (AMP)

The Lord wastes absolutely nothing, not even what the devil is doing in our circumstances. I remember vividly before we divorced that Rex and I began to tithe. This was a new area of obedience for us, and God was faithful to us as we stepped out in faith. At the point that we divorced I was in a David and Goliath situation financially. I had to look at previous situations in my life and remember that God had been faithful. Right before David fought Goliath, he remembered that he had previously fought a lion and bear. 1 Samuel 17:34-37 (AMP) “And David said to Saul, Your servant kept his father’s sheep. And when there came a lion or again a bear and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and smote it and delivered the lamb out of its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard and smote it and killed it. Your servant killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God! David said, The Lord Who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and the Lord be with you!”

You see, the devil was not only trying to destroy our marriage, he was destroying our finances and shoving me into the corner of deep depression. But God! The Father so gently spoke to me and told me that He would take care of our family financially. He specifically told me not to depend upon the government but to trust Him to take care of all our needs. Our children were attending a Christian school and God spoke that He would supply the finances to keep them in that school. He met that need using a family we didn’t know to pay tuition for both children for more than four years. Our home was 90 days in arrears on the mortgage and it never went into foreclosure. God gave me great favor with the mortgage company. Our air conditioner exploded one summer when it was 104 degrees and an electrician donated his time to install a new AC. Another friend bought the unit at cost so this repair didn’t take any money out of our pocket.

As each circumstance was thrown into our lives God gave me great peace to simply trust in His ability. Romans 8:28 (AMP) says, “We are assured and know that (God being a partner in their labor) all things work together and are (fitting into a plan) for good to and for those who love God and are called according to (His) design and purpose.” When I first was praying about writing an article regarding God’s provision my mind immediately went to His provision for our finances. However, I want to scream and shout from the rooftop that God’s provision is so much bigger than finances! He gave me peace. There isn’t a covenant keeper who doesn’t understand what a blessing peace can be.

When the entire world around me was falling apart He dumped a load of peace in my heart that I didn’t understand and certainly my friends and family didn’t understand. Both of our families are mostly Christian; however, many of them took on our offenses and were angry with our situation, and with both of us. Eventually, because they love the Lord they also began to walk in forgiveness and God’s peace. (See the note from Carolyn’s family posted at the end of this article.) Philippians 4:7 says, “And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (AMP) I’m sure most of you understand that money cannot buy peace; it is a gift from God. What a blessed provision that was for our family. We had nothing to fear.

Early in my stand I realized there were very few people in my life who understood what I was doing. I prayed and asked the Father to bring friends into my life who understood covenant. He clearly spoke that if I wanted friends I needed to become a friend to others. So as I planted seeds of friendship into other people’s lives God brought just the right people into my life. It was at that point that I met Marilyn Conrad, Joyce Hasty and Cheryl Hines. You see, God saw ahead to today and He knew what would take place in our lives. He made provision even then for today. He is trustworthy.

The Lord also provided joy in my life. “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 (AMP) There were many days of tears, especially in the beginning. My heart hurt so badly I thought I might die. But eventually as I learned to forgive, my heart was healed by the power of the Holy Spirit within me and He brought joy into my life. The joy came long before the circumstances changed. That is because joy comes from spending time with the Lord. Until the divorce I was not accustomed to spending time in the Word and in prayer every day. I quickly learned that joy came first of all from sitting at the feet of Jesus. Jesus began to show me the path of my life, and in His presence there was joy. Psalm 16:11 became real in my life. In the same way that the world cannot provide peace, the world cannot provide this type of joy either. You see, Jesus doesn’t want to wait until your spouse is home to give you peace and joy. He makes it available from the very beginning. As you study His Word and spend time with Him you will understand this provision.

“For to the person who pleases Him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy…” (Ecclesiastes 2:16 AMP) There is such misery if one lacks wisdom and knowledge. Disobedience to the Father is the ultimate lack of wisdom. We say we believe the Word, but when we are disobedient to the principles found there our words ring hollow. We lack wisdom and knowledge. James 1:5 (AMP) says, “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.” I believe that wisdom is the ability given to us through the Holy Spirit to apply the Word of God to our everyday circumstances. Wisdom come from knowing the Word and how to apply the Word. The Father will graciously give us an abundance of wisdom. If you need direction about anything in your life, ask the Father; He knows the best answer for your specific situation.

All of this is His abundant provision according to the principles He teaches from the Word. Plant that which you need in someone else’s life and watch the Father provide for your needs. His principles work every single time!

A Note from Carolyn’s Family:

As I think back on Rex and Carolyn’s relationship, I vividly remember the entire Martin clan being angry with Rex. He had deeply hurt our daughter, niece and cousin. We didn’t understand or want to acknowledge that she had also hurt him. We took on Carolyn’s offense. One way we expressed this anger as her extended family was by speaking negatively about Rex, as well as “the other woman.” As I recall Thanksgiving that first year, Rex and “the other woman” came to the large family gathering at my parent’s home to pick up the children. There were probably 40-50 people there for our annual Thanksgiving Feast, and I would guess that almost all ran to the front windows to get a peek at “the other woman.” As I recall, my brother was the only one in the entire group who had enough grace in his heart to go say hello to Rex. (Or, maybe he just wanted a CLOSER look!)

As God worked and brought Rex and Carolyn back together, the family also, over time, opened their hearts to Rex and forgave, just as God had allowed Carolyn to do. Our God is mighty!


Author: Carolyn Johnson

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