This is a difficult time for many. I want to share with you a recording of the event “Steady & Thankful in the Midst of the Storm” that we had a few years ago. How can we be steadfast and sincerely thankful when we encounter difficulties and hardships, and when we don’t receive the desired answers to our prayers? It is not that easy to be steady and at peace in those times, is it?
Beginning with today, we will post a series of videos of testimonies that we shared at this event, which will inspire and empower you to face difficulties with courage and hope. Along with testimonies, I will share some practical advice/knowledge on how to have unwavering faith in the midst of the storm and emerge from hardships with a win.
In this video, I share a testimony that was the beginning of my life’s transformation after I lost my legs in a car accident. Tough times taught me to persevere. They taught me to wait on the Lord no matter how hopeless it was.
This experience shows how CRITICAL it is for us to trust God in spite of the actual facts that we have in life and continue our pursuit until the end.
Now I see that I would NOT have this beautiful testimony and life’s transformation IF I had given up when my journey of pursuit seemed fruitless and too difficult.
✨ Also, what an astonishing experience it was to see that all things work together for good, just as it is written in Romans 8:28. This is the first time I realized that the pain and the discouragement truly worked for good. In fact, I was thankful for difficulties, pain, and discouragement in the end because I saw what a great blessing they were. They were a big part of the blessing to come!
I hope my experience and this testimony will fuel you with inspiration and will increase your trust and confidence in the Lord.
The Lord can do a miracle in your life no matter how broken you feel today, no matter how hopeless you feel.
This week, I want to share with you a video from the New
Beginnings church in Portland, OR, where I shared several testimonies from my
life about how God turns everything to the good in the life of those who love
God and whom He has chosen according to His purpose. It deeply surprised me
when I noticed for the first time that experiences that seemed bad to me were
actually for my benefit. And now, 15 years since that time, I see this in my
life as a law. The Lord never ceases to amaze me! And so, by sharing this, I
want to encourage you.
Romans 8:28 NKJV: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
As I was in the process of restoring my life after the car
accident, so many times hopelessness was staring at me with its cold gaze.
There were so many difficulties and problems! There were days and even years
when it seemed to me that the Lord did not hear my prayers. I knew that He saw
what I was experiencing, but I could not understand why there were no answers
to some of my prayers, why the Lord was silent.
There were times when I told the Lord that He misunderstood
me – this was not what I wanted. 🙂 From time to time, I just couldn’t
understand what God was doing in my life. Many times I stood before my Lord in
tears, asking Him: “Why, Lord? Why am I going through this, why this had to happen?”
And then, I would say to Him: “No matter what happens, I
trust you, Lord. I know that you see everything, and you are a just God, and
you know much better what’s good for me. Please give me the strength to get
through this time.” And I would pull myself together and continued making every
effort in everything I worked on, and patiently waited for what would happen
Interestingly, after my prayer, my circumstances did not
change immediately, but I received inner strength to withstand the hardships
and felt my enthusiasm and boldness increased. I had the endurance to persevere
and attain my goals and improve my situation. At times it took me enormous
effort to make the smallest step. Nevertheless, I continued making step after
step, no matter how difficult it was. And I kept on going, despite the length
of my desert and the storms that I had to endure. I kept on going until I
reached my vision.
And what an amazing revelation it was to see that everything
— including hard times, trials, difficulties and even destruction and even my
mistakes — all worked together for good, as it is written in the Bible in
It was the fourth year after the accident when I first
noticed it. I was already in California. I was outside, enjoying the sunny
weather. Wearing my comfortable prosthetic legs, I reflected on my life, being
deeply in awe of how incredibly my circumstances changed. When I thought about
the sequence of events and how they affected my life, suddenly I realized – I
would not have the blessing that I had if I had received the answer to my
prayers when I wanted and how I wanted it!
I clearly saw that it was my pain, combined with the deep
disappointment that made me look for help internationally. Not having received
the help from local specialists, on the Internet I began to look for help in
other countries. So it turns out that I would not have looked for help and I would
not have met an American prosthetics specialist if it were not for that
unbearable pain and hopelessness! It turns out that disappointment and despair indeed
worked for the better.
During those two years, at times I would say to God in
prayer, “Lord, I trust you so wholeheartedly. Why do you not answer my prayers?
Why are You silent?” It seemed to me that God did not hear my prayers and did
not give any answers. But it turns out that the Lord did hear me and He was
already answering, I just did not know it. His answer to my request and my dream
came to me in a different way and at a different time than I wanted. The Lord
had a much more beautiful plan for my life, and He was fulfilling it. It was a
plan that I could not even imagine in my dreams!
Moreover, the most interesting thing is that the
hopelessness and my relentless perseverance to find a way and wait for the
answer from the Lord brought me from Europe to sunny California – the place that
had a perfect climate and fully accessible environment for people in wheelchairs!
It brought me across the globe from not accessible environment to a fully
accessible place, where I could become independent again and live a full life!
God had a plan for my life, a plan to restore my life after the car accident,
and His plan was so much better than mine.
It was the first time I saw the value in hardship, pain, and
despair. Frankly, it was quite unusual and hard to admit it. However, I was
sincerely grateful for those dark years of hard work and countless hours of
intense training, learning to walk with artificial limbs that left me
exhausted, with bruises, wounds, and swollen thighs. I felt grateful for the
disappointment and hopelessness because that’s the reason I began making radical
changes in the way I approached my goal, and begin seeking help at the
international level. And so, my dream came true and now I was in a country
where I could live a full life.
After realizing that difficulties and pain were for my
benefit, I began to pay close attention to what was happening behind the events
and circumstances, and where they ultimately led me. Instead of focusing on how
painful and difficult it was, I began to observe what was behind these
difficulties. And, again and again I saw that the events that occurred, people
I’ve met, and various experiences that took place played a key role in my life,
and, to my surprise, all of this really somehow worked together for good. More
interestingly, particularly those events that seemed destructive or times that
seemed like endless valleys of difficulties, led me to my ultimate dream. Even my
mistakes had a precious value in my life.
Even though it was very difficult to go through some periods
of life, they left a very valuable imprint on my life. Through difficulties and
circumstances that seemed absolutely hopeless, the Lord taught me to trust Him.
When it seemed to me that I was at a dead end and that there was no way out,
the Lord showed me that absolutely everything is under His authority – He has
people’s hearts and creates new opportunities, even if it seems impossible.
Although it was very difficult to experience hopelessness, today I am sincerely
grateful for it because it showed me how the Lord is always there with you in
the midst of it and He creates a way out; He is never late and provides help.
Difficulties and hopelessness taught me to fully trust God.
Now I see problems as another opportunity to see how great
the Lord is, the opportunity to experience another testimony. And the harder
the problem is, the bigger and more interesting the testimony will be!
I want to make a note on very important detail – God is
faithful, and He will do what He says, but we also have a great responsibility
for what happens in our lives. God has His good, acceptable and perfect will
for our lives (Romans 12: 2), but the Lord has given us the freedom of choice,
and very much depends on our choices.
Since this is a big topic, I will post about it next week.
And, for now, if you are experiencing struggle and nothing changes no matter
how much you pray about your difficulties, be encouraged and hold on to your
hope through faith. You do not know what God is doing in your life, and where
He is leading you. Certain events have a significant impact on our lives, and
yes, it’s scary when bad things happen. Events and circumstances have the power
to shape our destiny, and this can cause concern and anxiety when they do not
develop in the way we expected. We feel and see only what we experience at the
moment. This is where your faith must step in – walk by faith, and not by what
is actually happening at the moment.
2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV: For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Trust your God that He is just and sees everything.
Sometimes God does not change our situation because He changes us. Sometimes
difficulties and certain circumstances direct our path in the certain direction
which is according to His will. Nothing in our lives happen ‘just because’.
There is a reason and a purpose behind everything. It is critically important
for us to be obedient to God, to the way He leads us. Sometimes you have to
completely trust Him, do nothing and wait. And sometimes you have to be strong
Keep going. Be sure to do your best in everything you are
working on, and patiently wait for the answer from the Lord.
I was inspired to share with you about an experience from my life, which was a great lesson to me and also an incredible testimony. I faced something I did not expect. It turns out that you can do God’s work and think that you do it all for the glory of God and you delight Him with your deeds, without even knowing that the real picture is very different than you thought. Question: what are the deep intentions of your heart, what is behind all that you do?
🕊✨ All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. (Proverbs 16:2 NIV)
🕊✨Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2 NKJV)
This experience changed the trajectory of my path. It also showed how the Lord gives all that is needed when you do His work. But in order to experience His blessing in its fullness, it is necessary to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit and to be in obedience to the way God leads you, and not be stubborn and carry out your plans as you want.
This was 6 years ago. When the opportunity opened, I shared my testimony about what the Lord has done in my life, wrote a book telling my story-testimony and it seemed that I stood well, fulfilling my promise to God, and doing what I love. In May 2013, I thought that my book’s manuscript was finished and the next step was to find a good editor and funding to cover the editing and publishing expenses. I needed $10,000.
I immediately began to look for ways where I could find the editor and funding. But everywhere I looked it seemed that I ran into a wall and could not take a single step forward. In my persistence and zeal to do everything possible, ignoring the quiet voice inside that prompted me to come before the Lord in my prayer about the next step, I took the matter into my own hands and started a fundraising project. I was perplexed as I was watching how I received encouraging messages and heard many greetings and comments about how excited people were about my book, but the funds were coming in very slowly. It seemed as if the invisible hand would not allow the money to come.
The voice of the Holy Spirit continued urging me to leave everything I was going to work on and go before the Lord in my prayer. In prayer, in the spirit, I clearly heard/felt “The editor and the money are already prepared by Me, it will come all at once and you will not even have to do anything to find them. But it will come when the time is right. Now, leave everything aside and go study My Word, search for My will for you.”
I did what the Lord said. It was not easy to stop everything. But I knew that without God’s blessing I will not have success in my pursuits no matter how much I try. I understood that this time I had to be still, not to do anything, but trust the Lord and wait until He would provide everything; meanwhile, I had to go deep into His word and hear what He wants to say to me.
So, after I pushed all my to-dos aside, I opened the Bible, and with a prayer began reading His Word. On the very first day, while reading His word, it felt as though I was struck by lightning – I saw that I was walking in the wrong direction!
Imagine the plane has a route to its destination. At some point, the pilot looks at the compass and sees that the plane is slightly off course. The shift can be very small, almost to the point that you don’t even have to worry about it because it won’t matter much. But what will happen if the pilot makes no changes and allows the aircraft to fly a little off course? The shift may not be visible in the very beginning of the journey. But after thousands of miles, this aircraft will be completely knocked off course. Arrival will be far from the destination, where he was supposed to land. This is what I saw in my life – the arrow of my compass was slightly shifted from the course.
🕊✨ Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV)
The word “selfish ambitions’ got my attention. In the classic translation of the Greek Testament, it’s self-seeking.
To be honest, I felt uneasy. Suddenly the Lord showed me the depths of my heart… Even if I love God and sincerely did everything I did, in the depths of my heart behind my work bringing the glory of God, there were also my personal ambitions. Ambitions to achieve my success. I was shocked. It was such a fine line that I did not even notice it! For so long, it seemed to me that I stood right before God because I lived by His word, for His glory and I constantly saw Lord’s blessing in everything. It turned out that it only seemed so to me.
And if the Lord did not stop me now and did not show me the depth of my intentions, I would have gone in a completely different direction than I thought. And, ultimately, this would lead me to great pride and arrogance, and I would be aiming for goals that for the most part are not His will and even the opposite.
🕊✨ These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look…. (Proverbs 6:16-17NKJV)
🕊✨ Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility. (Proverbs 18:12 NKJV)
It was not an easy time for me. But, it became very valuable and special time. I examined myself, my values, my aspirations and intentions behind them. I spent a lot of time reassessing everything and, having changed my aspirations and intentions, I brought my arrow to the correct course.
It was a very difficult process, but at that time the direction in which I was going changed, and at the end, I was very grateful for this time period. See, I aspired to do so much, but I was not even ready yet for my ministry! In addition, it turned out that my book was also not ready for publication – it was not yet finished. During that time period, I added several new chapters and made a lot of changes in the manuscript, which radically changed the book.
And when the book was fully completed, and my heart also changed, the Lord did what He told me in the prayer — a professional editor and the money indeed came to me at one time, and I didn’t even have to look for it. One of the country’s best editors came to the company where I worked, and soon one person, having learned that I was writing a book and what I needed to publish it, surprised me by handing me an envelope with a check in it for $10,000, and said “I prayed about it. This money belongs to “Unstoppable”. Go ahead, publish your book, the world needs to know your story and what the Lord has taught you” It was just INCREDIBLE!!
See, the Lord has everything you need and He can provide. If your plans do not follow through, stop and call upon Him to show you. It might not be working out for you not because you are a loser or because the enemy is working against you, but because for certain reasons the Lord himself does not allow you. Maybe it’s not the right time yet. Or, maybe you are not ready.
Examine yourself. Check what are true intentions in your heart. Weigh your heart and what stands behind your goals, what your true motives are behind the ministry that you carry or want to carry. Looking for your selfish desires to be fulfilled, to realize your ambitions, to achieve significance in the eyes of people can end very painfully.
Before you do something, ask the Lord about His will. Be in obedience to Him even if it seems to you that it’s better to do other than what the Lord has directed you to do. The enemy will try to deceive you and will tempt you to do the opposite of how the Lord directed and it may indeed seem that this way is more logical and better (This is another lesson in this story, but I will share it another time). But not everything that shines is gold. You will be successful in your affairs only when you are in obedience to God and will do exactly the way He directs you.