And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
— Luke 22:43
I’ll never forget the time years ago that our ministry was under a great assault. For no reason we could logically explain, the financial gifts of our partners seemed to dry up and dwindle away for a number of months. After this drought had gone on for several months, our situation became so serious that I didn’t know how we were going to pay for our television broadcasts that covered the length and breadth of the former Soviet Union. It was time to pay the bills, and I didn’t have the money.
As I walked through the city of Moscow that cold winter night, I broke inside from the pressure I had been feeling. I stopped at Red Square, leaned against a rail, and literally wept, not even caring about the people who passed by me. I felt so frustrated because I didn’t know what to do. We had drained everything we had to keep those broadcasts on the air. Millions of people watched our television programs, and those hungry souls were depending on us. God had entrusted me with taking His Word to these former Soviet nations, and I took that responsibility seriously. But because our finances had dwindled, I found myself in an extremely hard spot.
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After riding on the subway system for several hours while I tried to pull my thoughts together, I felt myself sinking deeper into a feeling of desperation. The reality was that if something didn’t happen to quickly change the situation, I would have to cancel our program, and all those millions who waited for it each week would lose the teaching of God’s Word.
I had just come up from the subway on my way to the television meeting when I leaned against that rail in Red Square and wept before the Lord. I felt so alone, so trapped, so unable to fix my problem. There didn’t seem to be anyone I could call or turn to who could comprehend the enormity of what I was tackling in the spiritual realm that night.
I cried out, “Lord, why has this happened? Is there a reason our supporters have temporarily stopped their support? Have we done anything that opened a door for the devil to disrupt our finances? Please tell me what I am supposed to do right now about this situation. What about the millions of people who are waiting for Your Word? Do we just disappear from television and leave them wondering what happened to us?”
All of a sudden, it felt like a divine force entered me! Strength and courage flooded into my soul. I knew God was touching me, giving me a new supernatural boost of courage and faith to face this moment victoriously. Within minutes, my tears disappeared, my desperation vanished, and I began to celebrate the victory! Although I still didn’t have the cash in hand to cover all the television bills, I knew the battle had been won in the Spirit. As it turned out, the money didn’t come in all at once, but the valve had been turned on again and the gifts of our partners began to flow back into the ministry. I thank God for the supernatural assistance He gave me that night!
Have you ever known a time when you felt alone in the challenge you were facing? On the night of Jesus’ betrayal, He must have felt that way. He asked His closest disciples — Peter, James, and John — to come apart and pray with Him in those last hours. But every time He came back to check on the three men, they were sleeping. Jesus was experiencing a great spiritual battle and extreme pressure that night (see April 2); that’s why He wanted His closest disciples to assist Him in prayer. However, that night they were not found faithful.
But when Jesus could find no one to stand with Him in His hour of need, God provided supernatural assistance! Luke 22:43 says, “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” This supernatural strength made up for any lack of support from His three closest disciples.
When Luke writes that the angel “strengthened” him, he uses the Greek word enischuo. This is a compound of the words en and ischuos. The word en means in, and the word ischuos is the word for might or strength. Normally in New Testament times, the word ischuos was used to denote men with great muscular abilities, similar to the bodybuilders in today’s world. But when these two words en and ischuos are compounded together, the new word means to impart strength; to empower someone; to fill a person with heartiness; or to give someone a renewed vitality. A person may have been feeling exhausted and depleted, but he suddenly gets a blast of energy so robust that he is instantly recharged! Now he is ready to get up, get with it, and get going again!
This means that when Jesus’ disciples and friends couldn’t be depended on in His hour of need, God provided an angel that imparted strength, empowered, and recharged Jesus, renewing His vitality with the strength needed to victoriously face the most difficult hour in His life! After being super-charged, Jesus was ready to face the Cross. He awakened His disciples and said, “Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand” (Mark 14:42).
Maybe you’ve had a time in your life when you felt trapped and alone. Perhaps you thought your friends would help you, but now you feel like they let you down at a time when you really needed them. Don’t let desperation take over! Your friends may have fallen asleep on the job, but God hasn’t fallen asleep! He is absolutely committed to seeing you through the situation you are facing right now. And if necessary, He will provide supernatural assistance to recharge you and keep you moving full steam ahead. You may be tempted to feel isolated and alone, but if your spirit’s eyes were opened just for a moment, you would see that you are not alone at all! He is surrounding you with the Holy Spirit’s power, angels, and anything else needed to keep you going forward!
So remember — regardless of the particular battle or situation you are facing in life, God will always come to your assistance. If no one else is faithful, God will see to it that you receive the strength and power you need to victoriously overcome in every circumstance. Supernatural assistance is yours today!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I thank You for this word from You that has spoken so directly into my life today. It’s true that I feel very alone and trapped in the situation I’m facing right now. I don’t know what to do, what step to take, what to say, or where to turn. I’ve tried to give the problem to You, but in some way I’ve continued to carry part of the load by myself, and it is starting to break me. Right now — at this very moment — I am throwing the full weight of my burden and cares on Your huge shoulders! I thank You for taking this burden from me and for filling me with the strength I need to press through this time in my life!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that God is committed to seeing me through the situation I am facing right now. He is providing all the supernatural assistance I need to get recharged and to keep me moving full steam ahead! Even though I am tempted to feel isolated and alone, I am not alone! God is filling me with power; He is surrounding me with angels; and He is ready to provide me with anything else I need to keep moving forward to fulfill His will for my life!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Can you recall some very desperate situations in your life when you felt trapped — like there was no way out — but suddenly the Lord filled you with strength and brought you through victoriously?
2. Can you think of two times in your life when you were absolutely aware that God was supernaturally filling you with the special strength you needed for that exact moment? If so, why don’t you take a few minutes to write down those memories and think about God’s faithfulness to you?
3. Has there ever been a particular situation in your life when you sensed the presence of angels on the scene, ministering on your behalf?