“Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth. …Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you, when I restore the fortunes of My people” ~ Hosea 6:1-3, 11.
God returns to His people like the long awaited spring rains that promise new life for the earth when we turn from our darkness to seek after Him anew with wholehearted desire. He is the treasure possessed in the resurrection of His people to new life with Him.
This promise is true, no matter how late the season of our life, or that of the history of humankind. It is His people that God responds to, whether in response to our sin that invites the hand of the Father to discipline us out of His loving desire for our good, or that of the heart of the Father’s loving response to our seeking after Him with sincere desire to know Him. It is His people who seek after, trust in and rely on God as Lord that elicits His response.
Trouble comes in this life. That is an assurance Jesus warned us to expect (John 16:33). We are in the world, which falls to the dictates of fleshly desires, worldly ideology, and demonic influence. Those of the world do not believe God, seek Him, trust Him or rely on Him. As such, these vehemently oppose God, thus producing trouble in this life.
The trouble produced increases when the people who seek God forget God and fall away to the flesh, the world, and the demonic. God often uses trouble in this life to discipline a wayward child. That is what is happening with the people of God in the book of Hosea, yet God promises a return to Him that will find the reward of the fortunes of the spring rains.
What does God promise will come with that fortune? A harvest.
Beloved, God uses times of trouble, whether brought on by our own sin, or the touch of trouble found by our living in a world that opposes God and His will and way. Often, trouble in life allows us to experience the greatness of God and His grace toward His creation.
Trouble always brings opportunity. Sometimes that opportunity is to realize some way we have that opposes God so we can surrender to Him. Other times the opportunity is that of ministering to others in the midst of the trouble. Always, trouble presents opportunity to respond to God by choosing life over death, determining in our hearts that we will serve the Lord, as Joshua advises (Joshua 24:15). There is one more thing produced out of trouble:
Trouble in this life produces in us a harvest. As we learn more about God in seasons of hardship, it produces seeds of truth and righteousness in us, giving us a testimony to share with others. Winter seasons can be difficult, but even the winter has a purpose. It is in the winter that a tree rests from its work of produce, able to devote its time to growing deeper roots that allow for a greater harvest season. It is in the winter season that seeds mature in preparation to burst forth with new life. As we come into the spring of life, we share the things we learned during our season of growing deeper roots into our understanding of life with God. Through that, we reap a harvest of souls, inspiring others to know God.
In our days, as we travel this road in a very troubled world, experiencing the winter seasons of life that that trouble brings, there is a spring coming especially to this late hour in history. Come out of troubling times into the fortune found in God. That fortune provides us all we need to help others grow to know the Lord.
Beloved, don’t waste the times of trouble. Cooperate with God to allow trouble’s winter to deepen your roots into Him as God and to prepare your seeds for harvest. Understanding God and the good intended by God will produce its treasure trove within you. There you will find all you need to reap a Kingdom harvest that glorifies the Lord.