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“Fruitful in the Land of My Affliction” [podcast]



God’s Word speaks about forgetting the things that are behind us (Philippians 3:13-14) and also speak volumes about abiding in Christ and being fruitful (John 15).

Forgetting leads to fruitfulness. Let go and let God.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Middle voice from G1909 and G2990; to lose out of mind; by implication to neglect: – (be) forget (-ful of).

One must let go of the past in order to live in the now, to look and see ahead, to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Peter had to leave the boat behind to walk on the water to Jesus, right? (Matthew 14) Israel had to leave the Egypt to be brought into their promised land, right? Even so, the saint of Christ must submit to daily dying downward and reciprocally, the LORD raises him upward into new life (Romans 6; 2 Corinthians 4:10-12, etc.).

Forgetting the past (good and bad) and living in the moment, abiding worshipful and obedient in Christ, will lead to great fruitfulness.

The fascinating story of the beloved Joseph in Genesis – who went from the pit to the palace – who was able to forget his past and enjoy great fruitfulness for the remainder of natural life (Genesis 37-50).

“And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh (means to forget): For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. 52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim (means fruitful): For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Genesis 41:51-52

The names Joseph gave his children tell the story of God’s blessings on his life as he worshipped the LORD faithful through all the injustices and suffering. Joseph was a type of Christ in this regard. His life in many ways was a foreshadowing of the Messiah.

Through a myriad of unwarranted sufferings, our LORD Jesus “committed himself to him (the Father) that judgeth righteously”

“Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:” 1 Peter 2:23

As was the case for Christ to come, Joseph’s sufferings resulted in a life of resurrection, a season of great blessing and fruitfulness. So much so that he was blessed to forget the toil of the past. He was blessed to forget and to flourish, to walk in fruitfulness – hence the names of his first two sons.

This prophetic Messianic typology, as framed by some, saw the beloved Joseph go from the pit to palace.

FB Meyer on Genesis 41:

“The Spirit of God was evidently in Joseph, but so far from rendering him a mere visionary, it made him eminently practical. Have your visions of God, but descend from your housetop to answer the men who knock at your door! See Act_10:1-48. In this story we see reflected the glories of our Lord, who was raised to the throne, to become a Prince and a Savior, the Giver of the Bread of Life to the perishing souls of men. But He sells without money and without price! Joseph’s marriage to an Egyptian bride reminds us of our Lord’s union with the Gentile Church, on the significance of which Paul so strenuously insists. If you live for God, He will see to your interests. Such joy will be yours that you will forget your sorrows (Manasseh) and become fruitful in the land of affliction (Ephraim).”

God was with Joseph in that dark dungeon of a prison he sat it unwarranted. In his afflictions the LORD was teaching, purging, and refining him.

The perfecting, the establishing, the strengthening, and the settling can only come “after that ye have suffered a while.”

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10

4 Benefits of Suffering for Christ in 1 Peter 5:10:

  • perfect (mature, equip),
  • stablish,
  • strengthen,
  • settle you

I call this the PSSS “secret” – like when someone says to you: “Pssst, hey. Come here, I have a secret to share with you.” PSST = Perfect, Stablish, Strengthen, Settle you!

Out of your sorrows will surge forth your surrender and fruitfulness, seasons of resurrection blessings. This is why we can “count it all joy” in these times of testings, trials, sufferings, persecutions, and affliction.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4

“Much More Precious than of God”

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7

You have saving faith – and it’s on trial!!!! That alone is cause for celebration!!

“Adversity is the companion to every Christian on his way to paradise. The more difficult the path, the more joy for him who follows the LORD.” AW Tozer

God is preparing you. It doesn’t matter how it looks, God is always good – namely to those who choose to be His – and He’s working all things to His glory and our good (Romans 8:28-29). He told us all these things would “come to pass.” The words “come to pass” appear 161 times in God’s Word. In other words, these things He foretold would come and for the reason of passing so that He can and He will do “a new thing”!

Suffering the death of self via times of trials precedes the seasons of the fruit-filled resurrection life of Christ in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:10-12). These seasons of trying are the Gethsemane, and Golgatha denials and crucifixions of the self life so that Christ’s resurrection life can reign, rule, can soar upward in our lives.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15 

In the Bible, when Job had everything, he prayed. When he had nothing, he still prayed. Prayer isn’t about your circumstance, it’s about who God is.

Memorize 2 Corinthians 4:18 now.

Affliction (death and burial) precedes fruitfulness (resurrection). If we will be “vessels of gold”, highly prized and powerfully used of God, we must first submit to His process, to comply with Him, to purge ourselves of all that does not glorify Him.

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:20-21

Prepared to be used by God

Support | STORE | PodcastsTop 12 Missing Essential Doctrines in the Modern Church World! [podcast]Repentance and FruitLoving not our Lives unto the Death [podcast] | The Greatest Servant

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