The Pain is the Proof
Welcome to the season of new doors of promise and blessing and completion of the former vision for the Kingdom of God and all of its inhabitants! By now, hopefully you have entered into the new season and are chock full of faith for the move of God that you are anticipating. Leading up to this point of arriving to the gate of the New Year 5778 (Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year Celebration) I heard a lot of messages on Jacob and his various encounters with angels. I am very familiar with these stories, so it was enjoyable to learn new things from these scriptures or to hear a different perspective on them. So what does the title of this blog post, the New Year, and Jacob’s story have to do with each other? Well, I was looking over my life and in a place of curiosity and this question came to mind: How come there are so many promises and good things I am told (either through the Word of God or by prophetic word) that I get so much excitement and faith for and then enter into so much difficulty after it is communicated to me? If you ever received a prophetic word or heard God speaking a promise into your spirit you probably have experienced this in some form in your life. This blog post is not intended to answer all the deepest ponderings of your soul, it is just a word of encouragement for the season ahead.
Pain and the Promise
In Genesis 32, Jacob has a divine encounter that changes his life and name forever. You know the story: He sends his wives and children away and is left alone while they are en route to meet his estranged brother Esau. The next part of the story is kind of strange: Jacob wrestles with a man all night. Some believe the man was an angel, and others believe that the man was a pre-incarnate Christ. Regardless of who the man was, we can tell that he was clearly from God by what happened next. Just before daybreak the man wounds Jacob’s thigh and tells him to let go. Jacob refuses to let go and demands that the man bless him. You know what happens next: The man changes Jacob’s name to Israel and blesses him. There is a lot more to this story, but for the purposes of this post I want to focus on these verses:
“30 Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” 31 The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip.” –Genesis 32:30-31
The way Jacob left that wrestling match is a great example of how many of us feel. We know we have been wrestling, we’re a bit tired, weary, and in pain but so grateful to have met God in the place of struggle. We are surer of the promises than ever before, but there is pain in the process to get there. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to those that think since you have a “word” over your life that the enemy is just going to hand it over to you and move out of your way, that in fact getting a word often means the war is only starting for you to contend for the promise. Now don’t get upset or rebuke this word in the name of the Most High, but rather put your war clothes on and get ready to fight!
I am not a spiritual warfare guru or anything like that, but I do have a few pointers or suggestions for the war ahead:
- Know that the warfare is not against flesh and blood (people) but against principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. -Ephesians 6:12
- Know that you do not have to fight alone. -2 Chronicles 20:15
- Do not war from a place of emotion, submit your feelings to the Lord and make love your focus. (this is a difficult one) -1 Corinthians 13:4-5
- Stay focused on the goodness of God and keep your eyes on the prize. –Philippians 3:13-14
- The joy of the Lord is your strength. –Nehemiah 8:10
- Ask the Lord for wisdom, revelation and understanding to avoid walking in confusion. –James 1:5
- Avoid sin and the plans of the enemy by submission and actively resisting the enemy. –James 4:7
- Praise, worship, pray, and study – establish relationship with God and know Him better than you know the enemy. -2 Timothy 2:15
I haven’t been perfect in walking this out, but in the times that I did do these things I always saw God’s help just when I needed it. Please don’t be tempted to ignore a message like this because everything may be going well for you right now. If this message is ringing true for you, put the work in- praise, worship, pray, and study now before any trials and testing come. It will preserve you in the heat of the battle, you will be able to hear God when the enemy is getting loud all up in your face, and you will be able to be led by the Holy Spirit when the pathway is unsure.
It is so easy to think that the struggle or issue that you are facing is unique to you only when you are in the midst of contending for the promise. The enemy can magnify and amplify how bad things going for you, and a moment later show you all of these other people who seem to be swimming in favor without a care in the world. He does that to try and discourage you in to agreeing with him that your promise is not going to come to pass. It’s amazing how a person is hidden during the test, trials, and hardships while pursuing the promise, but when they get there it’s like God says, “Tada!!!! I present to the world my blessed child!” This actually happened to Jesus after He was baptized, and right before He was led into the wilderness. (Matthew 3:16-17) I bring out this point because you never know what someone who seems to be “shining” right now is dealing with or has to walk through to get to that point. Everyone has ups and downs and it’s hard to win the war for your promise if you are focusing on someone else’s. Another point about this personal pain is that there are many examples of this in the Bible besides the story of Jacob. Here are a few examples:
- Naomi and Ruth suffered the loss of husbands and source of income before the promise was redeemed by Boaz for them.
- Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, slandered by an employer (wife), and put in jail before he ever saw his dream manifested.
- Daniel was plotted against by his coworkers and thrown into the lion’s den before he was promoted to a top governmental position.
- Hanna was barren and mocked by her rival for years before God blessed her with Samuel and other children.
- Paul was stoned and rejected by his own people after his conversion but he endured and became one of the most influential apostles to ever live.
- Jesus was betrayed by friends, beaten and tortured, accused of blasphemy, and hung on a cross before He entered the fulfillment of His destiny, purpose, and calling as the Messiah.
The point is that great promises manifest after great pain, be it physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual pain. Don’t be afraid of any pain the enemy threatens you with. Also don’t take the signal of pain as a sign that things aren’t going to work out for you- that is a huge deception from the enemy. Don’t sit there and take the pain as punishment from a spirit of condemnation or develop a martyr complex thinking that it pleases the Lord that you are experiencing pain, but rather start looking for the promise and get positioned to contend for all that God is releasing to you.
Let Us Pray: Lord thank You for keeping us through every test and trial. Lord You surround us with favor as a shield. Lord we are grateful to You for caring about us to encourage us that there truly is purpose in every pain that we experience in life. Lord we know that Your thoughts towards us are of peace, not of evil, designed to bring us to an expected end. Lord we thank You that because we know and lover You that we are not aimlessly wandering through life, but rather every step we take with You we are taking in light of the destiny of our Kingdom identity in You. Lord we do not want to ignore or minimize the fact that sometime in pursuit of the promise You gave to us that we sometimes experience pain. Lord please do not let painful experiences rule our thoughts and emotions, so we submit them to You and repent for holding grudges, forgive those who have hurt us, repent for those we have hurt, and ask for wisdom, revelation, and understanding for all of the painful things in life that we do not currently understand. Lord we believe that Your word is true, it cannot lie, it cannot return to You void, it must accomplish what You desire, and it will prosper wherever You send it. Lord help us to stay on the path that You have chosen for us, and if we are not on the right path please realign us with Your perfect will. Lord we will not cast our confidence in You or the manifestation of the promise aside just because pain rears its ugly head. No Lord! We stand in faith that You are who You say You are and You will do everything that You said You will do for nothing is impossible for You! Lord as we walk with You grant us unshakeable faith and endurance that we can receive the promise in our life time in the name of Jesus. Lord let every time we experience pain be a reminder that pain is proof of the promises You have for our lives. Lord if there is something that we are not aware of blocking or hindering our promise, please show us and help us to overcome quickly so that the promise arrives at the appointed time. Lord we trust You, we love You and are thankful for You. We ask for all of this in Jesus name AMEN!
Thank you for reading, if this has blessed you please share with a friend.
Blessings Always ♥♥♥,