The Valley of Fruitfulness, Part 2
"How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca [weeping] they make it a spring" (Ps. 84:5-6).
Has the enemy isolated you, causing you to doubt God's love? Do not forget, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Even the hairs on your head are numbered. He cares. It is His love for us that redeems our hardships, which not only brings good out of what was meant for evil but also trains us to deliver others.
Consider Joseph. He was the second youngest of Jacob's sons and his father's favorite. His walk with God began with dreams and visions. Joseph's life is a pattern for many who have had a genuine call from God. Our walk with God may also have begun with a "travel brochure" of dreams and visions where God gives us a picture of His destination for us. What we fail to see is the route to the fulfillment of God's promises.
Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and delivered up by them to die. He was unjustly accused when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him. He was imprisoned and forgotten by all except God, who was patiently watching and measuring Joseph's reactions to difficulty.
Rich or poor, blessed or smitten, regardless of his circumstances, Joseph served God. He continued to pass his tests. Joseph was on trial before men, but he was found innocent before God.
Finally, at the right moment, the Lord suddenly connected all the loose ends of Joseph's life. Everything that he went through, as unfair as each thing was, God used to shape him for Heaven’s purpose.
God alone sees the future and how the promises He gives us will unfold. Our task is to lay hold of Christ’s integrity and keep faith in what God has promised. Just as He allowed Joseph to go through many trials, so He allows us to go through great conflicts as well. For He knows that our lives, tested as they are, will help others find the shelter of the Most High in their lives.
“Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, 'For,' he said, 'God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household'" (Gen. 41:51). God caused Joseph to forget the difficulty and pain of his life. There is something wonderful about the Lord's capacity to cause all things to work for good. With Jesus in our lives, a time ultimately comes when God causes us to forget all the troubles of the past."He named the second Ephraim, 'For,' he said, 'God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction'" (Gen. 41:52).
God made Joseph fruitful in the very land of his affliction -- and in the land of your affliction, in your battle, is the place where God will make you fruitful. Ultimately, the Lord will touch many others with the substance of what you have gained. In a world that is superficial, Christ will produce something in you that is deep and living.
God has not promised to keep us from valleys and sufferings, but He has promised to make us fruitful in them. Without a doubt we each will pass through valleys before we reach our final goal in God. As we remain faithful to Him in trials, the character and nature of Christ Jesus will emerge in our lives.
Lord, You are God of the mountains and the valleys. I know that Your faithfulness is my shield and my bulwark. Thank You for redeeming the conflicts of my life; I praise You for healing me and causing me to forget all the trauma of my past. Now, Lord, help me to help others as well.
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This word was adapted from a chapter in Pastor Frangipane's book, The Shelter of the Most High. This book, plus its companion audio series, is available this week at 40% off. Available in both print and ebook versions.