Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

From My Wife: “How God Freed Me Through A Spiritual Gift”

A story from my wife

Two weeks ago God gave a great mercy to my wife — which I hope will encourage many of you.

I’ll ask her questions — and jot down her answers.

Me: What was going on a few weeks ago?

Jan: Well, to be honest, I was feeling pretty discouraged.

I had been praying about some things that are very dear to my heart.

But even though I had been praying earnestly and for a long time — I was not seeing any answers.

Well — maybe there were some answers.  Some tiny progress.  But not much.

So I was deeply discouraged.

I told God that I felt like I was having to “claw and scrape” in prayer to see even the smallest progress.

That’s the phrase I used — “claw and scrape.”

That’s how I was feeling — and that’s what I was saying to God.

Me: What did God do two Sundays ago?

Jan: Two Sundays ago during our Mercy Hill worship gathering God gave a man a spiritual gift which he stood up and shared.

[Me again — I want to break in here and give our take on spiritual gifts —

We believe spiritual gifts can involve the Holy Spirit telling one person what another person needs to hear.

These gifts are not authoritative — they need to be weighed with Scripture.

But when pursued biblically they can bring great encouragement.

Also — Jan wanted me to make sure you know that she had told no one except me how she had been feeling — she had told no one about her use of the phrase “clawing and scraping.”

OK — back to Jan.]

Jan: So a man stood up and shared a spiritual gift.

He said he thought the Holy Spirit was saying that someone there was feeling deeply discouraged.

He said this person had been in a season of oppression, difficulty, disappointment.

That this person has not seen God help them in the ways they had longed for.

And then he said something that floored me — “you feel like you have been clawing and scraping — and not making much progress.”

Clawing and scraping???  Is THAT what he said?

That’s what he said.

God had given him the very words I had been speaking — so I would know this spiritual gift was from God and for me.

I know — God was speaking to me.

And then he went on to say that — based on Isa 40:31 — God was calling this person to wait on Him — to know that He is working — that He has heard your prayers.

Me: What were you feeling while this was going on?

Jan: I was stunned.

When I heard this man speak the very words I had been saying to God for months — well, I was convinced this spiritual gift was from God for me.

God was telling me that He had heard my prayer — that my prayer has not been in vain — and that I can trust Him.

Me: How did this impact you?

Jan: I’ve said that “the countenance of my soul has been changed.”

The circumstances have not changed.  I’m still not seeing answers to these particular prayers.

But now I have confidence that God is working even when I’m not seeing things change.

Now I am at peace.  I am feeling strong.

I know God is hearing my prayers.

I know my prayers have not been in vain.

And prayer no longer feels like I am clawing and scraping.

Me: What have you learned from this?

Jan: A couple things.

One is that spiritual gifts are a wonderful kindness from God.

It is so loving of God to give someone else a word that was specifically for me.

Another is that the body of Christ is a powerful place of encouragement.

We need to be in fellowship with other believers so we can receive and give encouragement like I received.

Another is that we should keep pressing in with prayer even when it seems hard.

No prayer is wasted.

God hears.  God loves.  And God will answer in the perfect way at the perfect time.

Me: Thanks for sharing this, sweetie.

So — how have you been encouraged by other believers?

How have you experienced spiritual gifts strengthening your faith?  I’d love to hear your stories — leave a comment below.  Thanks!

Do you know someone else who would be helped by this?  Email it to them using the “share” button below — or use the buttons to share it on social media.

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Category: Stories about Other People, The Work of the Spirit


14 Responses

  1. cheryl votaw says:

    soooo love this. It made me also think, when we are so discouraged is when we cry out, “Abba, Father!” and He, in His awesome love, speaks to us and takes us deeper with Him. Our faith gets bigger, stronger, more refined. Our love for our Lord grows and we are able to be more of who He created us to be. Without the drought we would not be so renewed with His living water.
    thank you so much, Jan and Steve for sharing. blessings on you both as you share your walk so personally with us all. It is a gift to be on the journey with you. much Love to you guys.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I love how you put it, Cheryl — “without the drought we would not be so renewed with His living water.” True word.

      Thanks for checking in — and Jan says “hi!” 🙂

  2. Sharron Pearson says:

    Thank you for posting this. It’s precisely what I needed to hear. I know He hears our prayers, but sometimes I’m relying on myself too much and not listening and trusting God enough. For Jan, thank you for sharing God’s important message!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      It always brings me joy to see your comments, Sharron. And I am so glad this post was encouraging. And Jan says “you are so welcome!”

  3. Paul Nunez says:

    Great story Steve. Thanks for putting it out there and thanks to Jan too!

    I remember sitting in your service one time during the spiritual gift time when we wait on the Spirit to give us something to share.

    My wife turned to me telling me a verse popped into her head, Zechariah 4:6, a verse she or I didn’t know at all. It says “not by power, not by might, but by my spirit says the Lord”. She didn’t stand up share it but we looked it up and just kind of shrugged our shoulder.

    Later in the week we were driving through In and Out and I was battling some deep anxiety about ministry and my capacity (or lack there of). Then she reminded me of that verse. After thinking about what that verse was saying, i felt peace wash over me and I relaxed. I’ve since then drawn on that verse many times for peace and strength in what God can do, not what I can do. I was further encouraged that God gave that verse to my wife for me!

    I think it’s great you guys pursue the gifts during your service…it’s not always fireworks and shock and awe moments to our eyes but it’s great to see when God powerfully blesses that time.

  4. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    This is a wonderful story, Steve. Congratulations – who knows what our wonderful Father still has up in his sleeve for you, Jan!

    Blessings to you both,

  5. Bill Schuler says:

    Thank you for that wonderful encouragement. I am reminded of something Steve would often say at home-group, in the midst of waiting on the Lord for Spiritual gifts….He would say…..”More Lord.” 🙂

  6. Johnny Afewerki says:

    Dear Mr. Fuller, by God’s sweet providence, I came across your blog about a month ago and I’ve been joyfully coming back to it regularly to feed my soul with your very much edifying, comforting, uplifting and convicting writings. I have been coping many of your writings and pasting them in word document and making them available on my iPad so I can reread them when I’m offline as well. This specific post especially has given me hope that at some point the Lord will speak to me or communicate to me in a similar manner and will reveal His will to me to what I’ve been pleading to know for some time now. Waiting is the hardest thing to do Mr Fuller and especially when outside forces push in and I want to wait to hear from the Lord before I move on… All for His glory!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      It is good to meet you, Johnny. Thank you for letting me know you are finding this blog helpful — that greatly encourages me.

      I agree that it’s hard to wait on the Lord for guidance. But my father once told me that God wants us to wait on Him — because this shows how much we value His wisdom and guidance.

      And I believe James 1:5 promises that God will always give us the wisdom we need in His perfect time.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  7. Sean Rafferty says:

    “God wants us to wait on Him — because this shows how much we value His wisdom and guidance.”

    Well said.

    Pray that I would wait on Him more as my impatience has wrecked too many short seasons of calling upon Him in sustained prayer (and I’m now in another season where I really should be lifting up a particular subject matter before Him regularly). Thanks brother.

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