The Fruit Of Discipline And Promise Of Reward

Anyone standing for marriage restoration and prone to discouragement and feeling sorry for themselves, especially when adultery is involved, should readIsaiah 61:7 (AMP), which is one of my favorites because it says Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs. And it’s important to note that “in their land” means that we will have this here and now and that it is not something we have to wait until we get to heaven to experience. How sad it is that there are so many Christians walking around with sad faces and despairing attitudes, which certainly does NOTHING to glorify the Lord! It reminds me of the testimony posted by one of our FAM members who had a friend tell her that her rotten attitude certainly didn’t make her want to be a Christian; that it was in fact more likely to keep her from ever considering it. Thank God that was enough to get her attention and make her realize what a terrible witness she was being for the Lord! People are watching us and when we don’t live our lives in a way that gives them a reason to want to be a Christian, we are doing the devil’s work and not the Lords, so when you get discouraged, please read the whole chapter of Isaiah 61 (AMP), and believe these awesome promises from God. He’s not a liar and if you don’t believe the Lord WILL do what He promises in these verses, you are in effect calling Him a liar, because you are CHOOSING to believe the report from Satan over the word of God! Remember that you are the only Jesus some of the people in your life will ever meet, so make every effort to give Him a good reputation. This is especially important for all mothers and fathers; your children are watching you as you go through this trial in your life and they are especially watching to see if what they see you do matches up with what they hear you say and deciding whether or not they want to be a Christian. So I hope and pray with all my heart that your life gives glory to Jesus Christ so that your children and your spouses will not consider any other option than making Him their Lord and Savior! There is no greater fruit than that, so for their sake, do WHATEVER it takes to insure that your walk matches your talk and glorifies the Lord!

Another encouraging passage of scripture when the devil tempts us with discouragement is Joel 2:25-27, which says:
25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten — the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.

This is a tough passage for some Christians to digest, because they mistakenly believe that the Lord never causes anything bad to happen in our lives, but that’s wishful thinking and not in accordance with what the Bible tells us. For instance, verse 13 says Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. God does allow calamity, and He even sends it to get our attention when we are not living our lives for the Lord’s honor, praise and glory, for which we were created, and called to do when we made Jesus our Lord and Savior. Jesus didn’t die just to give us fire insurance, but that’s how many Christians live their lives, and God CAN NOT allow that to continue without dealing with it. So read the whole chapter of Joel 2, and you will see that God uses whatever it takes to make us get our hearts and lives right with Him so that we will praise Him and give Him the glory He demands. Remember, the very first commandment was that we put NO other god’s before Him, which includes our husbands, wives, children, marriages, jobs or anything else., and He is described as a “jealous” god in many verses, such as Exodus 34:14, which says Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. However, the GREAT news is that when we repent and turn our hearts and lives back to the Lord, He will give us at least double what we lost as we saw by reading the whole chapter of Joel 2, and in Hosea 2.

We could all save ourselves so much pain and disappointment if we’d just learn to be obedient to the Lord’s will in the first place, because when we don’t listen to Him and live in accordance with what His word teaches us, He WILL get our attention by whatever means it takes. The sad news is that many of us are where we are in our marriages today because of our failure to know, understand, and live in accordance with what the Bible teaches us about our roles as husbands and wives. I can’t tell you how many times I hear “I just didn’t know…”, which I myself have said, but that does not change the outcome in our lives and the consequences we now have to deal with. That alone should be enough to convince us how important it is to find out what God expects of us, and then to do it simply for the sake of obedience to Him. And the ONLY way to do that is to seriously study His word, the Bible, which is His Owners’ Manual to us, His creation, and His love letter to us, His Beloved!. And when we do, we will better understand and know how to receive the fruit of discipline and the promise of reward found there!

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