Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 30 – Dry your tears

The Lord says to her, “Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears!  For your heartfelt repentance will be rewarded.  Your children will return from the land of the enemy.  I, the Lord, affirm it!”  (Jeremiah 31:16 NET)

One thing I often do that can seem very insensitive, is to tell people who I counsel to stop crying.  The reason isn’t because their crying bothers me or that they need to just suck it up and act tough, it’s because God promises to reward them if they turn to Him.  “For your heartfelt repentance will be rewarded,” He says.  God promises to do more than comfort you, He promises to take away the reason for the tears and restore those things that the devil has stolen from you.

It’s a common thought that we all need a good cry now and then to feel better.  But year after year of tears, of mourning the loss of a stable family, happy children, innocence and dreams that were wiped away – none of those tears get to the root of the problem.  They only prolong the pain.  One goal of the devil is to destroy our faith and keep us in a perpetual state of hopelessness and depression.  Our tears give pleasure and sustenance to the devil.  He feeds off of our misery and even make us proud of the fact that we have been his victims for so long, so we’ll keep feeding him more bitter tears.  If we can carry our Bible around, underlined and dog-eared, quoting scripture and full of self-pity, we can be the devil’s poster-child for a defeated Christian to block the salvation of many.  

Refusing to shed tears is an act of faith, of determination that God’s promises will come true and are coming true for you.  You may look around you and still see your child in trouble, your job situation unchanging, and your future unsure.  But by faith, you can determine what your future will be – one that reflects the power and promises of God.  You may not know exactly how it will happen, but to live in that state of expectancy and assurance is what pure, unadulterated faith is.  

Don’t wait for your circumstances to change before you start to rejoice and praise God for what He is doing.  Don’t act as if being miserable or grumpy is your God-given right.  You have the power of faith that can move mountains, and if God already plans to restore you, begin to do what He needs to make that happen.  Repent of your fleshly attitudes, or any other sinful behavior that is in your way.  Even if your own children are being held captive in Satan’s territory, they will be brought back to you.  Faith doesn’t depend on perfect circumstances or cooperating emotions.  It just believes against all appearances and all odds.  Dry your tears, don’t give any more pleasure to the devil.  Know that God is affirming to you today that your repentance will be rewarded.

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