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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Importance of Fruit, #10
But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:24—NIV)
Still, there is always the Lord. He is present and we are learning of His ways. Somehow He does not seem to be as impressed with much of what takes place as one would guess. It really doesn't matter anyway. I would rather be with the Lord and know Him than to be highly esteemed of people. How do you feel about this?
For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the LORD your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:7,8—NIV)
We spoke previously in this essay about the period of anger and seeming abandonment that we experience before we enter the fruitfulness God has promised us. Such periods indeed are dark, seemingly hopeless days. We have to keep reminding ourselves we are in a tunnel and not a grave.
We can remember the happy times when we were young in the Lord, the joyful choruses, the brave declarations of undying faith. We can remember them mentally but not emotionally, not how we felt at that time.
Will we ever come out of this darkness? Then we realize we do not know if we will receive our answer in the present life, and so we put our hopes beyond the grave. We know God is good. We know God is faithful. Somehow it will work out.
No one else understands. Other Christians do not know what we are talking about. They tell us to just have faith and all shall be well. Then they return to more cheerful duties.
One day at a time. One minute at a time. Misery!
But slowly God returns. Little by little confidence is renewed until it becomes difficult to remember those dark days.
Somehow, I can't tell you how, there is a new, a different knowledge of God. It is as though before the period of darkness we heard about God but now we know God. Others are unimpressed. But we realize there is a difference, and much of what goes on in the churches now seems shallow and fleshly. We are on a higher plane.
Yet the struggle with God has not ended. One still has to guard against deception. Satan is ever at hand to lead astray. There is no great fulfillment of the promise, but there is the beginning of fruitfulness—perhaps eternal fruitfulness!
To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:9,10—NIV)
To be continued.