Sharing in His Sufferings 6
Sharing in His Sufferings 6
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. (Isaiah 54:2,3—NIV)
Just because God has kept you in prison, don't become a prisoner in your heart. Remember Joseph who one day was in prison and the next day second only to Pharaoh of Egypt.
Set joy before you. Then you can endure your cross. If God's hand is on you, you may be destined to bring forth an astonishing amount of fruit. Grasp your life and you will lose everything of value. Be willing to die with Christ and you shall gain all that is of true value.
There is no disappointment in Jesus. Those who suffer in Christ are destined to govern nations!
Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. (Isaiah 54:4—NIV)
Yes, you may be embarrassed in front of younger people who are very successful. Yes, God may make you nothing in the sight of others. But if you are suffering in God and not because of your own laziness and indifference, you can be assured that the hour will come in which God will vindicate your patient trust in Him. Then you will forget your momentary embarrassment and your temporary barrenness.
For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5—NIV)
How wonderful to be married to God! How marvelous to be set aside by the Lord until we are dead to the opinions of other people. How desirable to be special to the Lord in this manner.
Others may have great results to show for their religious endeavors. Their names may be household words while you remain unknown.
Someone said we do not take our most precious things or relationships and flaunt them in front of people. So it is with those who are precious to God. He often keeps them hidden from curious eyes. He does not cast His jewels before swine.
We may long for the acclaim of the people of the earth. But God is the God of the whole earth. It is better to be acclaimed by God than by the whole population of the world.
When God is dealing strongly with us we can forget about help from other people. He may use someone to assist us, but He is quick to remind us that our help comes only from Him. He becomes jealous over us and will not let us be either hindered or raised up by others. He lets us know that from now on we are in His keeping, and other individuals, no matter how highly placed, can neither harm us nor help us. We are His, and He is the God of the whole earth.
The breath of every human being is entirely at the disposal of Jesus Christ. To place our trust in men, even those of high distinction, is a snare to our feet and blindness to our eyes.
To be continued. Sharing in His Sufferings 7