How much the Lord encouraged my heart last tonight! I went to a young adult meeting at my church for the first time in months, and I got to see how He has been working in ways that I have not been at liberty to be involved with or aware of until now. The group there is growing in number, variety and passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God!
As we sang and listened to the message that followed, the Lord impressed upon my heart a few things that I needed to hear.
He showed me that He was fully aware of the thoughts and questions that I have had on my mind the past few difficult days. If I would listen to His voice, He would do for me what I asked earlier as I prayed:
Lord, please clear up some of my confusion and doubts about what You are doing with my life. I know that my heart has to be re-set on You and how my needs point me to because I will not be filled and made content any where else. Only You can bring my trials into proper perspective.
He began to show me how He saw things — with me and my position being represented so differently than I saw them with my own eyes.
“You have not been caged, Elaine,” He said, “Where you find yourself is not some kind of detention from the good things in life. You are not in a position so difficult that all you can do is sit around and feel sorry for yourself as you wait for someone to rescue you. I do not need to make your life absolutely carefree for you to recognize the presence of the freedom I have given you in your life. I have not left you with any remaining constraints that will mean your doom. I have given you life to know in the fullest through Me, and sometimes I choose to let you see how amazing this gift is by letting you see in temporary sufferings how great a wealth of suffering you have escaped because of My death that defeated hell’s right to torment your soul forever.
“Quit waiting for the bars to be removed from a prison that doesn’t exist for you anymore. I am not holding back any joy, peace, hope or purpose from you in allowing you to wade through the uneasy waters of this trial. Neither am I letting this hardship be in vain — I am developing from it invaluable fruits. The fruits of My Spirit can only be witnessed and exhibited by My people who know Me and abide in My love no matter what their present difficulties may say to the contrary. Your faith in Me and what I am doing even when you can’t see right now, is what will cause you to grow strong and confident and able to more fully understand the realities of My death and rising-again that are greater than you do now.
“The sorrows you know now are small compared to what you would know without Me. Since you have not realized this the freedom that I have awarded you is from sin and soul-slavery to Satan and a destiny spent in hell, you have trivialized what real freedom looks like.
You do not need to feel good all the time, or get out of the house on a consistent basis, or be oblivious to troubles in your life. You need life that includes Me and lacks nothing of spiritual abundance. When you appreciate that, when you hold Me as the awesome backdrop of your life, you have the strength to deal with whatever else lies in the foreground of it.”