Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Epiphany on the Patio: Using the Past to Overcome

I have asked myself, "What were you thinking?" quite a few times since I announced the Hosea study. It's a huge job and I already had a huge job of editing underway. Every time I've started fretting, I've reminded myself that I was sure God had called me to it and He would carry me through it.

Monday afternoon, though, I sat on my patio, computer in my lap, Bible on the table before me, and wondered how I would ever get it done. I had zoomed through Chapter one, but, when I hit chapter two, the writing came to a standstill.

Time is short, so I was very concerned. Okay. In the interest of truthfulness, I panicked. I cried. I prayed. I reviewed a ton of commentaries. At the end of all I'd studied, I wondered if they had read the same words I'd read. 

"If you're not doing this through me, Lord, I'm not doing it." I set my computer aside, closed my Bible, and went for a walk.

Yesterday, I picked up Hosea again. I read the commentaries again. I prayed again. I sought wise counsel again. And, finally, I came to a deep understanding that it's one thing to study Scripture in the original language. 

It's a totally different thing to live Scripture. 

The commentators had studied Hosea and they knew the words with great accuracy. I had lived his life, and it wasn't easy.

I read through Hosea's words with the lens of my past and I saw it in a brand new way. I knew how Hosea felt because I'd felt much of what he did. 

Experientially, I understood.

I knew it was a Hosea time when it was unfolding, but I never dreamed I'd write it. In a way, it was simply an act of obedience that required me to die to self over and over again. I didn't see the bigger picture. If I had, I might've tried harder to be better.

Yesterday, I came to see a vital truth in a deeper way. 

God never wastes suffering.

When hard times comes, and they will, He will carry us through. He'll also use that hard time to refine us and strengthen the body of Christ, if we will allow it.

The Apostle John wrote these words:

"And they overcame him {the accuser of the brethren} because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death." Revelation 12:11 nasb

With the Hosea study, I'm allowing God to take my testimony and do something new. To overcome because of it.

No matter what lies in our past, no matter how hard, no matter how terrible, in God's hands those hurts and sorrows become the key to overcoming the enemy of our soul. If we will allow God to heal and use all He's carried us through, He will do something better than we ever expected.

We have a choice. Stay trapped in the pain of the past or allow Him to heal so that we can overcome by our testimony. 

Which will it be?

Today, let's take a look at the painful things that hold sway over us and choose freedom. Choose healing. Choose overcoming.

It may not be easy, but one thing's sure. It's worth it.
In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Tending Roses and the Garden of Our Heart
#faith #testimony #overcome #linesfromleanna #Hosea