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Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Sovereign Encouragement

If one is a reader of the Word with any diligence and devotion eventually they will come to the realization that God’s means of encouraging and strengthening His beloved differ greatly from the means employed by many of today’s wildly popular preachers.
Today I was reading a passage in the book of Isaiah, and I couldn’t help but think how different God’s way of speaking encouragement into our lives is than that of mere men.
Isaiah 54:11, “O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted. Behold I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires.”
Here is a word spoken by God that promises nothing in the way of the escapism we have come to be so comforted by. Although God acknowledges that His servant is afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, He does not proceed to promise that the affliction will end, that he will no longer be tossed about with tempest, or that he will finally find the much sought after comfort. God’s means of encouraging His child is the promise of a priceless reward for the faithfulness he exemplified while being tossed about with tempest, afflicted, and not comforted.
When we get sick, the first thing we do, is attempt to find a cure. Whether it is merely a common cold or something far worse, we want that pill, that shot, that treatment that will take away the pain, and make us feel better. In our walk with God, whenever we race affliction, whenever we are tossed with tempest, many of us run to God for comfort, for the remedy. We run to God not attempting to see His perfect plan for us in our affliction, not attempting to understand His thoughts rather than impose our thoughts upon Him, but to demand that the affliction cease, the tempest pass, and that we find our comfort.
What some of us, and I have been guilty of this a time or two throughout my walk, fail to understand, is that God sees beyond today, into tomorrow, into next week, next month and next year, and the affliction He allows to befall us today may be the means by which we are spared far greater affliction tomorrow. Often times we are as little children who get angry with our parents for slapping our hand away when attempting to touch a hot stove, and even when the parent takes the time to explain why it would have hurt much worse if they would have let us touch the stove than merely slapping our hand away, we fail to understand and appreciate the gesture.
I don’t know who this is for but it is something I felt I needed to write and post, even if you get angry with God for allowing affliction, even if you are unable to find your comfort, know that God will not apologize for what He has allowed in your life, because the alternative would have been much, much worse.
In every affliction, our foundation is strengthened, through every tempest we come out that much stronger, and as reward for our faithfulness God begins lay colorful gems and sapphires within the stones of our foundations. A proven faith is able to reach greater heights in God, and partake of a greater glory. A proven faith sees the afflictions and the hardships for what they are and glories in them for it knows the outcome of all trials, a closer and more intimate fellowship with the Father.
There is yet another thing God promises to those who remain faithful in the midst of the storm, those who are not discouraged or disheartened by their afflictions but press ever forward toward the eternity that awaits.
Isaiah 54:14, “In righteousness you shall be established, you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.”
God promises that He will establish us in His righteousness. When men are established in anything other than the righteousness of God, whether it is prosperity, strange doctrine, false manifestations or outright deception, their end will be likened to the end of those in the world who will suffer both oppression and terror. To His beloved children, those whom He has established in His righteousness God promises that they shall not only be far from oppression and terror, but that they shall not fear.
There is a distinct difference between affliction and oppression, between being tossed with tempest and outright terror and fear. The former things are allowed of God for our purification, maturity and testing, while the latter are reserved for those who reject Him, who mock Him, and deny Him.
The season is upon us wherein we must stand on the promises of God, our heavenly Father, and not be swayed by what the physical eyes see. We cannot be as those who stumble in the darkness, for we are children of the light and our path is clear before us, our destination preordained from the creation of the world. If perfect love casts out fear, then trust in our heavenly Father keeps it at bay, not allowing it to worm its way back into our hearts even when everything in the physical would suggest otherwise. God will never forget His servants, He will not abandon His children, and though it might seem that we endure affliction without end, seeking comfort and respite from our trials and not finding it, soon we will know the true measure of our Father’s protection and favor.
Isaiah 65:13-14, “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed; Behold My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

8 comments:

rleigh said...

Your post today seems to me to be a miraculous answer to a prayer I cried out to God today, probably about an hour before the time on this post. Without going in to a lot of personal detail, I was groaning in my spirit, crying out to God that if it would be permitted He would bring to me some refreshing and encouragement through one of His believers today. If only I had logged on earlier, I would have known how quickly He had answered my plea! What you shared in this post today hit dead center into the issues I am wrestling with. As I read these words the Father gave you to share, I was immediately refreshed and strengthened in my spirit. Now I will do my best to put into practice what you were saying -- to find strength and encouragement through the scriptures. But I am so grateful He was merciful to me today and sent encouragement through one of His faithful ones. Thank-you, and may God bless you.

Mrs. Pugh said...

Amen Michael.

There have been certain afflictions in the past year or two of my life that will always be beyond my understanding. The only comfort during this time has been the kowledge that God Almighty is in control. I fully believe that the events of the past few years were was a direct means to keep me from doing something else, something it was important NOT to do. (I should add that having that knowledge laid on my heart was comfort too.)

I do not know who the Spirit led you to write for, but I wanted you to know it was an affirmation for me too.

Hold up under the strain of your burdens too. God is with you (as you know) and we all love you dearly.

Mrs. Pugh Col 2:8

a seed sower said...

The same can be said of the chastening of the Lord upon us. To every hungry soul even the bitter things are sweet. The things that are sent to try us are also to purify us and build up our faith and our strength in the Lord..Good Word Brother Michael.

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
Hebrews 12:11-14
God loves His children.

Sapphire said...

Thank you for this post. While I will not assume that this was written for me, I will say this. Is. 54 is my promise chapter given to me by God back in 2000. In fact, I once said that if I was to marry a certain man, then God would give me a sign by having that man share these verses with me, without me ever telling a soul. That happened and I am now very happily married to that man.

Isaiah 54:11, “O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted. Behold I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires

I have always read this verse in amazement, because at the time I had first met my husband, my screen name was Sapphyra00. I thought it was one more piece of evidence that God was indeed talking to me.

We have been struggling for the last 2 1/2 years with various trials. We have been discouraged at times at the never ending trouble, but we have also rejoiced as we see God's hand moving.
We have struggled to make ends meet for our children, moving three times to find work. Our cars have died or taken the last of our money, but God is faithful and has provided our every need.

Today we had one more set back as we woke up to see someone had tried to steal our tires from our van. My husband is at this moment, at the tire shop trying to get it fixed. I figured I'd come online and read your site....How lucky for me. This has been a blessing. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Brother,
I met you and Grandfather in Missoula MT about 15 years ago.

The word is excellent however, the scripture you used is out of context;

Isa 65:11 But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
Isa 65:12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

In relation to the verses in you piece Isaiah is speaking about the dis obedient.

I do agree however God will put us in "want" for his purposes.

Bless you, Bob Gordon

Bonny said...

Thank you Michael. A powerful and timely word as always. I too have been crying out to the Lord in affliction lately. I have been sorely tempted in ways I never imagined, because I have allowed my mind to wander, telling the Lord I was tired of the situation He has allowed in my life. But these things will pass, and really, I know that this life will one day mean nothing when I see the Lord face to face. He is making us ready in these days.

amy said...

Thank you brother Mike. Isaiah 54 has been kind of a life promise Yeshua gave me 20 years ago and has continued to reaffirm. I found in Job 28 an explanation which makes sense to me about where the gemstones come from. They are formed in darkness, deep underground, through heat and tremendous, crushing pressure, far from the eyes of man. In the depths of hearts that fear Him, the LORD is using our trials, as He did with Job, to refine gold and form treasures. If you have ever seen gemstomes before they are broken open, polished and cut, they look like ordinary, even ugly rocks you might kick aside along the path. If our faith is established on that kind of spiritual treasure buried in our hearts, where it cannot be defiled or stolen by birds of prey or lions, wow. Sometimes it encourages me and helps me endure to think of my heart as one of those sapphires and imagine it was created through my past pain and suffering, and that what is painful now represents the breaking open of the gemstone or the polishing and grinding of its facets so that it can reflect the Light in the most exquisite way. I want to allow Him to make me as beautiful and costly as possible, since it is His beautiful Light I will reflect, but it hurts. Sometimes the pressure is beyond my ability to endure and when no one is around I scream and cry and feel my faith will faint, but His Spirit stands quietly, unmoved next to me and He does not even want me to be strong or keep my self control, but to realize it will never be enough, that I have to have His. To keep believing Him and yielding.

Anonymous said...

It would be important if you add or translate the duduman visions to the spanish.