Tag Archives: affliction

Fruitful In Affliction 

  
When going through difficult seasons in life, it often feels like they will never end. The hits seem to keep coming. After a while, it’s easy to quit looking for the lesson and to start wondering what we’ve done to deserve it. Our prayers that ask God to restore us seem to fall on deaf ears and we question whether God remembers who we are. As time goes on. It becomes the new normal for life and we wonder if we will ever be restored to that place of joy.

Joseph, the guy with the coat of many colors, went through an extended period of hardship too. His season of sorrow lasted 13 years. He was betrayed by his family, lied about having his good name smeared, wrongfully thrown in prison, and forgotten. This season lasted 13 years of his life. We think God has forgotten us after 13 weeks. This man endured 13 years of sorrow, yet he remained faithful to God throughout it. We know this because God blessed him during that time.

Just like all seasons, there will be a turning point in your life. It will not last forever. When we are faithful to God even when we can’t see Him, hear Him, or feel His presence; He will reward us and restore us. He takes what seems like an end and turns it into a beginning. He takes a period of sorrow and turns it into a lifetime of joy. He takes the hardest times in our lives and shows us the greatest grace we’ll ever see.

When Joseph’s life was restored and things were going well, he had two sons. Their names are very telling of what God will do for us when we’ve been faithful. Genesis 41:51-52 says, “And Joseph called the firstborn Manasseh [making to forget], For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil and hardship and all my father’s house. And the second he called Ephraim [to be fruitful], For [he said] God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (AMP). God will help you to forget how hard the struggle was and make you fruitful in that time.

Jeremiah 18:7-8 echoes this for us. It says, “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit” (NLT). Even in your time of sorrow or your drought, God will cause you to be fruitful if you trust in Him. Even when everything in you tells you that God doesn’t see you and that He doesn’t care, stay faithful to Him. Your restoration is on the way. 

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God is working for your good

When you are going through a difficult time in your life, it’s easy to wonder where God is. It’s hard to see Him when you are in the middle of your pain and suffering. Grief and depression have a way of blinding us to the help that is around us. When you can’t see God in your storm, you feel isolated and alone.

Each of us go through difficult times in our lives. It’s in those times when we forget that others have walked down that same road. We tell ourselves that no one else knows the pain we feel. We separate ourselves from others and begin to think that no one cares. Just because you feel alone, it doesn’t mean you are. In Luke 11:11-17, a widow lost her only son and was grief stricken. She felt the same way.

Here are three things Jesus does for us in difficult times.

1. Jesus sees our affliction

In the time of her son’s death, she could not see Jesus. He knew that her son had died and purposefully arrived at her town as the funeral procession was headed out of the town. Verse 13 says that when He saw her, His heart over flowed with compassion for her. It was clear that He was struck by her grief.

In the midst of our struggles and pain, Jesus sees us whether we see Him or not. His heart is broken for you and will come to show Himself to you at just the right time. You are not alone. He is there with you in the middle of your pain. I know personally that it is hard to see Him in that place. Reach out to Him. You will find He is right there.

2. Jesus comforts us

After meeting her in her despair, Jesus tried to comfort and console her. It broke his heart to see her crying. He reached out to her in his compassion and told her not to cry. We do not serve a God who is not empathetic to our needs. He understands loss, friends turning on you, being betrayed and so much more that we go through.

You may think that God doesn’t care about you, but He really does. His heart breaks when ours does. Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to be our comforter. He knew that we would need comfort in our times of distress here in this world. He never promised that we wouldn’t go through difficult times. He promised us a comforter for difficult times.

3. Jesus works for us

For this widow, Jesus raised her son back to life. I’m not sure why some people are healed or raised from the dead and others aren’t. I believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. What He did back then, He will still do today. We often don’t see Him move that way because we treat Him like a convenience instead of a necessity.

Even if you don’t receive the miracle you were praying for, it doesn’t mean that He was not working for you. There are things beyond what we can physically see or comprehend. God works on our behalf. He knows our future and may have us go through something now to prepare us for something later. We often ask God to remove trials or problems, but He may be working for you to prepare you for your future.

When times are tough and you can’t see God, it doesn’t mean He can’t see you. Hold on to your faith in the storm. He sees your affliction and has sent the Holy Spirit to comfort you in your time of need. God is always working on your behalf. Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for YOUR good. Hang in there.

Here is a prayer by my friend Michael Moak for you.

Dear Lord,
Today I proclaim your promise in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of Fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”
For the reader of this blog, Lord, that is dealing with the fear of the unknown future in their life, I come to You on their behalf today. I ask that You would surround them with your gentle peace and fill their heart with your strength while they wade through the waters of uncharted territory. Give them the ability to see Your hope at the end of this long journey and increase Your blessing upon their family during this pivotal time of transition. I know that You do not place fear or uncertainty upon our hearts; however, as humans we find ourselves defaulting to those emotions and get our eyes off of the one true place where fear can not dwell… in YOU! So, today, Lord Jesus, remind my friend of the promises of Your word and inject them with the spiritual medicine to heal their broken and searching heart! I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.

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