Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Talk Tuesday-A Word of Encouragement

I remember when, as a young woman, I completely committed myself to the LORD Jesus Christ. I asked Him into my heart, surrendered to His will, sought His face and repented of my sins. I confessed that He died for the remission of my sins and was raised from the dead. I discovered no greater joy in my entire life, than that of knowing Jesus Christ as LORD. All the partying, 'friends', money and other worldly pleasures were INCOMPARABLE. I remember having a vision of a fountain of water shooting upwards, ever-flowing from within me-rivers of living water. Just this week I realized that both the Old and New Testaments referred to God as 'living waters' (Jeremiah 2:13 & John 4:10, 7:38).

Yet, as I began this journey of faith I was unaware of the perils and trials that would come. The LORD had delivered me from so many worldly desires. He caused me to withdraw from people and situations that would hinder my early walk with Him. It was a time where He instructed, grew and moulded me. As a newborn believer my eyes saw through the lens of a different reality, my heart became tender to suffering and He began to peel away the many layers of selfishness within. My mouth became filled with songs of praise-I began to sing, play the guitar and worship God with passion. I found PURPOSE and PEACE. Yes, the joy of the LORD infused my very being.

Then the TRIAL came. Now I know in life we all have trials but then we have TRIALS. You know, the BIGGIES?! I can remember feeling devastated, coming home from choir practise at church, laying in bed asking God 'Why?' when the Holy Spirit directed me to a portion of scripture I was unfamiliar with:

Jeremiah's Complaint
"You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before You. Yet I would speak with You about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts. Yet you know me, O LORD; You see me and test my thoughts about You."
Jeremiah 12:1-3

God's Answer
"If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?" Jeremiah 12:5

Immediately the Holy Spirit brought revelation to my heart. God was strengthening me, instructing me and preparing me for the future. When a man or woman goes off to war, they undergo extensive training to be able to stand in the day of battle. When we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Christ, we take a side in the spiritual battle being waged. As soldiers, we must stand in faith, be a people of prayer and be the voice of the collective 'one' crying out in the wilderness "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord".

Our TRIALS and trials serve a greater purpose. As we share in the suffering of Jesus Christ, remember to stand firmly on His Word and cling to Him through the storm. God is cultivating fruit in you that will bear even more fruit in your life and in the lives of those around you. If your actions minister and bring others to salvation in Jesus Christ, then isn't it worth it?

And remember...Jesus is coming back soon!

By the way, God is so awesome! Do you remember the last post, the one about the income tax? Well, after all of that, God gave us a refund!!! To Him be all the glory...but that is a 'talk' for another day (*smilez*)


Anonymous said...

I am not on bible Group as often as I would like to be, but the last three times (in a row) that I have been on, I have been uplifted, encouraged, strengthened and challenged, the message spoke to exactly what I was going through and needed to hear from God.

Thank you for this amazing resource to us believers, and for 'standing in the gap' with us in prayer.

You and Andrew are a God-sent.

Anonymous said...

Wow Natasha. Amazing. A big amen to what you shared. In fact Sunday at church, I referred to you and your personal trial as a great example of being faithful in a time of inexplicable suffering -- especially as a faithful child of God. See how your faithfulness in your trial has led to encouragement. Even to people you don't even know. What if you hadn't been faithful and in frustration packed it all in? Well I guess you wouldn't have had the impact you did in the lives of complete strangers last Sunday -- for the glory of God!

I can't tell you how profoundly, prophetically, accurate this posting is today. One of the main ways I gauge when God is speaking to me is by comparing things to what I have been reading in my personal devotional time at home. Yesterday morning I sat, pencil in hand ready to journal, yet limp wristed with great discouragement..even before reading a word in my set reading. Because I was wondering when?... WHEN?.. When will I (personally) see the kinds of answers I have been wanting to see. Then I read my set reading. It blew me away. In Zechariah 1:12 it says that the angel of the Lord said "HOW LONG LORD??".. Can you imagine!

We (as mortals) struggle with understanding why God waits as long as he does and then does what he does? EVEN ANGELS WHO LIVE IN GLORY struggle with the same thing -- meaning, that even angels at times cannot grasp the depth of the exact precision in God's timing and dealings with man. (Read it some time). What was beautiful was, the next verse (13): God spoke 'kind and comforting words to the angel". He cares about your mental anguish and questions!!!

Now today the same theme developed in my Q.T. I finished reading chapter 5 of Revelation. Suddenly I realized that what man calls 'THE Revelation' i.e.. the beast, Armageddon etc.. has not even yet started??! The first seal will (finally!) be open in chapter 6!!! God has spent 5 chapters (over 1/4) of the book, preparing the believer (for what the world focuses on?) -- the nitty gritty i.e. the beast, Armageddon etc. I wrote in my journal after pondering this concept, how thorough God is in preparing his vessels. Abraham waited 25 years after the promise to have a son. Moses was 80. David waited 13 years 'after' being anointed as King, until he finally became King and finally -- Jesus. Jesus was 30 when God released him for official, public ministry.

God is doing exactly what you said Natasha. He is preparing us through this life FIRST to be his children and then secondly launching us to 'do' whatever he has for us to do. He hasn't forgotten you who are reading this! Be encouraged from my post too!

k. said...

I was very encouraged by your message. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I am truly encouraged by your post Natasha! TRULY ENCOURAGED!!!

Natasha said...

May GOD be praised for His faithfulness to us!

Beloved said...

Thank you for this post ... and thank you for sharing about the tax refund! That makes total sense!!! The blessing WAS coming!