At the beginning of this pandemic, I said to myself that I would not post anything about it as everyone else would be. This past week I have continued to be reminded how much I have been blessed, and how Gods love and blessing has continued to show during this time.Before the pandemic started, I got engaged to a beautiful lady, who is the kindest and most loving person I have ever met. When we got engaged and before the pandemic started, God spoke to us both about getting married on a particular date in August. Then in August during lockdown, we got married; My fiancée and I were together in the house, our pastor and a few other people were viewing over zoom. It was a beautiful day. We set up the lounge room with fairy lights, flowers, and greenery. It was romantic and very personal. My whole attention was on my bride and God, maybe the glitches of technology as well. If I had a choice of going back and changing anything; I would not!
When the pandemic began, I had to stop work due to works financial state. I was off work for 6 weeks, no income support what is so ever. I started to get anxious, anxious about the wedding, work, and finances. When the Victorian Premier stated that our state is going into lockdown; fear started to creep in, anxiety grew stronger, emotions and thoughts of the past started to take hold of me.Being in lockdown for so long has brought up remarkably similar memories to when I was in prison for a period of time. When the prison went into lockdown it meant we were literally locked in our units. Currently, even though I have my freedom of going outside, I still have the thought of having no freedom; the feeling of being out of control; something has been taken away from me.
Why is it that people, including myself, start to feel anxious when we feel like situations are out of our control? I believe it is because people want to always have their hands on the steering wheel. They want to make the choices for themselves, steer the car in the direction they want to go, rather than being told what to do. I believe this brings them to a feeling of helplessness when control is taken away. When I was in prison, I felt helpless, out of control, being dictated too. These are the feelings that I have experienced during our current lockdown.I honestly thought God had dealt with my past regarding being in prison; I may have been a little naïve. The current pandemic has caused me to lean on God, as I have done that, God has brought healing and restoration to my heart.
Yesterday when I was walking with my wife. We saw a lady in her car full of her possessions. It looked like she was living in her car. My heart sank. I felt to pray for her within my heart, so I did. As I was praying; I felt a lot of empathy for her, I know from personal experience what living in the car is like. As we continued to walk, I started to thank God for what He has done in my life, and my wife and I began discussing the ways in which we had been blessed through this pandemic.I cannot imagine what it is like losing a loved one through this time, or not being able to visit a loved one who has cancer in hospital. I have no words. What I do know, God is with you; to strengthen you, heal your heart of grief, and pour His love upon you. For God to able to do this, you need to reach out to Him. For some people this may be difficult, I know when you do, the love that you will experience is overwhelming.
God is waiting for you.
Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh
Why on earth would Jesus say blessed are those who weep? We could look at it two ways. The weeping could be the mourning of natural pain and suffering in our own lives or it could be the realization of the sin that is in our lives and it has caused us to weep over it.
Firstly, I want to share with you three stories in the bible with different forms of weeping. I also want to share with you my experiences and how God has caused me to laugh, be joyous and happy through my roughest times of weeping.
In Matthew chapter 26, Jesus predicted Peter was going to deny Him and Peter claimed that he wouldn’t deny Jesus. Jesus was so in tune with the Spirit that He foretold what Peter was going to do.
34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”
Then we read that Peter denies Jesus. Everything Jesus said came to pass.
Matthew 26:75 Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So, he went out and wept bitterly.
Weeping to me means pain, suffering or a realization of doing wrong and coming to that point of forgiveness. Peter wept bitterly, he was ashamed and felt guilty for denying the one who he was closest to. His weeping came from his gut, a deep cry out with a realization of his sin. He was grieving for what he had done.
I have had plenty of moments of weeping. It is not just a cry; it is a heart-felt gut wrenching cry. It came from deep within me. I believe this type of weeping is part of the healing process, and it is a realization that we have done wrong. It is a time for forgiveness and to let go of the pain.
The season of weeping can vary depending on how deep the hurt or sin is. Sometimes I have felt the weeping went on for days; I never thought it would end. Eventually it does and that’s when Jesus turned my ‘mourning into dancing, He turned my sorrow into joy’.
When you are going through a time of weeping, the key is to allow the Holy Spirit to work within you. Ask God to open your heart towards Him to help start the healing process. God has given you an opportunity to move forward and grow in Him. You will continue to be tempted by the sin you’re dealing with! It is important to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and pray when tempted, stand your ground with the devil, and tell him who you are in Christ. If you continue to go through a cycle of sin which I did for many years, you will find it hard to get out of that momentum of weeping. From my experience, this cycle of sin will cause you to struggle in life, spiritually and physically.
When Jesus says for “you shall laugh”, you have come to that point of forgiveness. The weeping is no longer a setback, you are looking forward to the joy of the Lord. You have been forgiven because you have repented through the weeping with the realization of doing wrong.
When did Peters weeping turn into laughter, a joyous time, or you could even say a time of victory? In John 21 it talks about Jesus restoring Peter. This moment was Peters Joy, and satisfaction. When we go through a time of weeping because of sin, God will bring us out on the other side when we have repented of our sin and recognize what we did was wrong in the eyes of God.
In Mark 5:38-39
38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.”
A tumult is a noise or uproar from a group of people. This would be the hardest thing to lose a child. I cannot imagine the pain that people feel when their child dies before they do. There would be so much pain. I remember when my Oma died. I wept quite hard. She meant something to me and now she is no longer with us. If I felt that towards my Oma, the feeling of my own child dying would be heart wrenching and that is what these people were going through.
Later in the chapter, Jesus raised the child from the dead, and it says they were astonished, surprised, impressed. At this moment it was their moment of laughter. Even though it does not say much regarding their reaction, I do believe there would have been a shout of joy, a cry out maybe. If I were in that position I would have shouted out, jumped around in joy.
Luke 7 states:
37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.
I love this verse. It shows the love, power, and authority of Jesus. It also shows the tenderness of Jesus and the forgiveness He has for anyone who comes to Him at the cross.
The women wept because of the purity of Jesus. Her sin was exposed because of Jesus’ love was being out poured. She knew what she was doing was wrong and so she wept. That weeping would have been guilt, shame, repentance, humility, and an expression of love towards Jesus. She would have already heard about Jesus and she wanted to use this opportunity to come before Him and repent.
You must understand this was a house full of men and she came into the house knowing that all those men were aware of her sin. She pushed through the natural and wanted something greater, and with her faith it brought healing into her life. It brought a form of laughter. In verse 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” That was her time of laughter.
When I overcame sexual sin, or looking at pornography I had a joy within me, especially when I was tempted. I could say ‘no’ with great victory, I practically laughed because I knew God strengthened me and God gave me the strength to overcome. I defeated the temptation of the devil.
When you are going through a time of weeping remember its only for a short time. Through that time, it will bring healing to you, it will also bring you closer to God and mature you spiritually. Those times of weeping are remembered because God carries all your tears, Psalm 56:8. When you reach that time of laughter you can look back and see how God has changed you. When you go through another period of weeping you can laugh through it because you have learned to be joyful in your sorrow. Jesus knew what he was saying when He said;
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for He hath said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
This passage is talking about the love of money. It is not a surface love of money. It is a deeper root of loving money; it comes from your core deep inside you. This type of love is a destroyer of life, and the devil will do anything he can to put you in that state of mind.
If your interested in the Greek; G866, aphilarguros
To show covetousness is to desire more, more money, more things, better things, bigger house, better car. You get my drift.
I have always been a low-income earner. The most I have earned in one year was $50, 000. That was not for too long either. I used to get angry at people who had, I will say, an easier life, whereas I felt I had to really work hard of getting the money I earned. I used to try the quick get rich schemes, such as party plans that promised good money. No matter what I did I was never content. I also gave to my local church more than 10% and I still struggled.
I now know it was my attitude towards money. I had a coveting attitude. Because I had a coveting attitude how was God to bless me. I could not be trusted with more.
At one point, I lost everything, I mean everything except for some clothes. This was due to other areas of sin and brokenness. For that, I paid a huge price in which I became homeless. The first night I slept in my car, which I lost not long after that night, I cried out to God. I had no options; continue to live a life of destruction, or start the road of righteousness. It was this very scripture that God showed me. It was through this process God taught me to be content. The words God said to me was, “if you have nothing or a million dollars, I will show you how to be content”.
I knew right then God was with me. No matter what I have or where I am living, God will not leave me or forsake me. He will meet every need that I have as I continue to honour and uphold Him.
Where are you at today? Are you asking God for more stuff or blaming God regarding your financial status? Do you covet your friend’s house or belongings? Or the life they live. If you are, in my experience, you will never be content.
To be content it is important to let go of everything you own and earn and be continually willing to let it go, give it all away, in other words; hold all you have loosely.
God wants you to be free and the first step is asking God for forgiveness for holding anything higher than God.
Remember that God loves you and He is on your side.
Have you ever had a feeling, that God was going to speak to you and heal your heart? That is what happened to me the other day when I had woken up. I felt a real strong presence of God, and all I wanted to do was read the word.
A I was reading Matthew chapter 11, the Holy Spirit started to speak to me. There were times when I couldn’t see the pages, because I was crying so much; especially Matthew 11:28-30 where it says; “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. At that moment I felt such a warmth around me; I could feel Gods compassion and presence comfort me, all I wanted to do was to keep on reading. Matthew 14:14 says, “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed the sick. Again, this part of scripture spoke to my heart. It shows, God has compassion for me through my hurts, and all He wants to do is comfort me in times of difficulty. After I had finished reading the bible; an hour later, my grieving heart had changed to joy.
I am sharing this very personal part of my life because I feel God can heal your heart through His word as He has done for me. I have been reading the bible seriously since the end of 2015 when my life fell apart. From that point onward, God has healed my heart many times through His word. The bible is live and active, sharper than any two-edged sword; Hebrews 4:12. A sword does a lot of damage when it is used properly, let alone a two-edged sword; it does twice the damage. To put this in a positive note, the bible cuts deep into our situation and can heal our hurts, convict us of sin and renew our relationship with God. And that is what happened to me.
During the healing process, it is difficult; it hurts, and it can sometimes feel like a lonely place; It does not have to be, this is when you decide and push into God. When you do this, there will be a breakthrough. As a result of you leaning on God, you will overcome the obstacles of hurt; heartache, and become stronger spiritually. Paul says, “Put on the whole Armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”. Ephesians 6:11. This is especially important in our Christian walk; as soon as we think we can survive on our own, that is when we stumble and fall. The enemy will do everything he can to destroy us, John 10:10, especially within marriages and, relationships. When I stop reading my bible, that is when I start to go off track spiritually. Reading the word is a vital part in our growth in God. Jesus tells us, “ye are clean through the word”, John 15:3, and therefore we need to read our bibles. Reading the word needs to be part of your everyday life, out of necessity, as you do this you will see a change in your growth in God.
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)
Spiritual Hope . Joyful Faith . Trust in God
Trusting the Love of Jesus Christ, One Day at a Time - Psalm 13:5 NIV, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”
The Power of Story