March 2018




Real Hope for Your Suffering



1 I cried out to God with my voice— To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah 

Psalm 77:1-9


How many times have we read this verse in the past and said, “God, this is me.  Please do something for me.  I can’t take this much longer”?  Some of us remember when God was doing things for us, and some of us don’t.  But, in either case, we know nothing seems to be working for us now.  We begin to wonder, “Has God thrown me away?  Does He really care about me?  His promises to me don’t come to pass anymore.”  Some of us can remember when He healed us.  We can remember when we would pray, and things would happen for us.  Now, nothing seems to work.


We think this way even though we know the Bible says Jesus loves us and will never leave nor forsake us.  But, our waiting for God to move, our “long-suffering,” isn’t doing so well anymore.  Doubt about our God’s faithfulness is trying very hard to take control of us.  We go to church and hear the words of encouragement coming from the Sunday message, but we’ve heard it all before without anything changing.  We’re fighting to keep a proper perspective of our God’s love for us.  How much longer can we do this? 


Please know this – God has made the way for you.  He has not forsaken you.  Let’s look at a passage of Scripture that is an excellent answer to both King David’s and our own problems.  In Ezekiel 36:16-38 God is speaking to His Prophet Ezekiel about the house of Israel. 


God begins by telling Ezekiel why the house of Israel was suffering so much.  Israel was a man.  The house of Israel was his family.  God was speaking about a man and his large family.  Thus, this passage can apply to you, or to you and your family.  So, I’m going to personalize what God said, and call Israel, Bob.


16 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 17 “Son of man, when {Bob} dwelt in {his} own land, {he} defiled it by {his} own ways and deeds; to Me {his} way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity. 18 Therefore I poured out My fury on {him} for the blood {he} had shed on the land, and for {his} idols with which {he} had defiled it. 19 {So I sent him away from where he was comfortable}; I judged {him} according to {his} ways and {his} deeds. 20 When {he} came to {where I banished him}, wherever {he} went, {he} profaned My holy name—when {others} said of {him}, ‘He was a man of God, and yet {he no longer walks with God}.21 But I had concern for My holy name, which {he} had profaned {where I had banished him.}


I would say God spoke very clearly that Bob got himself into such deep trouble because he sinned and did not repent.  He received the wages for his sins, plain and simple.  God goes on to say:


22 “Therefore say to {Bob}, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, {Bob}, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned {where I banished you.}


Bob also did not keep his sins to himself.  He taught everyone he was around to sin.


23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned {where I banished you}, which you have profaned in their midst; and {those people} shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among {them}, and bring you into your own land.


God did this for you, when you received Jesus as your Savior.  He separated you from the world and brought you into His kingdom, which He has given you.  He goes on to say:


25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to {you}; you shall be My {son}, and I will be your God. 29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine {in your life}


God says He will cleanse you from your filthiness and will change your hard heart to a soft heart after you are His, He will put His Spirit in you, so you can walk with Him in the land He has given you on this earth.  And, please notice He says something else.  He says He will deliver you from all your uncleannesses and will bless you with all your needs being met. 


Have all your uncleannesses been removed by God?  Are all your needs being met?  I believe this is a significant revelation as to why your problems aren’t being removed.  Let’s read on.


31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe {yourself} in your own sight, for your iniquities {wrong conditions in your life} and your abominations {worst sins}. 3Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, {Bob}!”


When you know the truth about why your life is in the mess it is in, you will be ashamed of yourself.  In the next verse we see that God calls our uncleannesses, iniquities.  And when they are cleansed from us, the blessings from God come to us.  Then, other people begin to see our life as something they would like to have.


33 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. 35 So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the {people who} are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.


Please notice God makes you a promise of cleansing and restoration, and then He says something very important about this cleansing and restoration He will do. 


37 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let {Bob} inquire of Me to do this for {him}: I will increase {him}. 38 … so shall {what is ruined in his life} be “restored}. Then {he} shall know that I am the Lord.”’”


God does not cleanse you of your uncleannesses, or iniquities, until you ask Him about removing them.  You are not cleansed of these things when you are born-again.  You are cleansed of these things when you ask Him to cleanse you.  How does God cleanse us of our problems today?


If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1John 1:9


You are cleansed of your problems when you confess your sins to God.  This is asking Him to cleanse you.  Someone will immediately see that God said iniquities in Ezekiel and sins in 1John. What you don’t see is what John said in 1John 5:17: all unrighteousness is sin.  So, anything wrong in your life, whether it is a wrong condition (iniquity) or a wrong activity (sin) is considered to be sin in the New Testament.  Therefore, when you confess something wrong in your life to God, and ask Him to forgive you for it, He will cleanse you just like He said in both Ezekiel 36:33 and 1John 1:9.


Let’s look at some of the things God said in Ezekiel 36:33-36 that He will cleanse out of your life. He says your ruins will be rebuilt. 


Ruins – (Heb 2723) means drought or desolation.  Drought is a prolonged period of dryness or a chronic shortage.  God will replace your drought with refreshing and begin to meet your needs fully.  Desolation means forsaken, lonely, abandoned, neglected, barren, ruined, lifeless, cheerless, gloomy, grieving, saddened.  God will give you joy and rebuild your life and relationships.


Desolation (Heb 8074) also means to be passively stunned, stupefied, or devastated.  Stun means to make senseless by a blow to bewilder with noise, to overcome with astonishment or disbelief.

Stupefy means to make stupid, dull, or insensible.  Devastate means to overpower, overwhelm.

Passive – lacking in energy or will: lethargic and receiving or enduring without resistance: submissive.  You continue to let circumstances beat you down without resistance.  You have no energy to resist an enemy when you have no hope.  God will heal you and restore your hope that good things can happen for you. 


Wow!  God has truly made a way for you to get your life turned back to receiving His blessings.  He has not forsaken you.  He just requires you to do something more than cry out to Him for help.


“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.”

Isaiah 1:16-17    


You must learn to make yourself clean, the way God says to do it.  Confess your problems to Him and He will cleanse you from the inside out, and teach you how to walk with Him by loving others.     †




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