I do not need to remind you that we can all go through difficult times. Many of the "champions of the bible" had their hardships. Paul certainly did and we base this stoy on some of his experience.
This was not the noble “spiritual” nicety so often declared by people without discernment! He wanted out! Unless the Lord intervened, he faced an horrific ordeal that could lead to certain death and his rotting body washed out the rat infested stinking hellhole of a sewer beneath the Imperial Palace into the Tiber River. He had reached the point where he could not see any way out, so wanted to go home to be with the Lord. We have to start getting real and stop being religious.
Life is real! We are not playing games and neither was Paul. A very close examination without theological jargon running interference reveals he had reached the of his tether until the Lord ministered to him in that prison.
He never set him free than as he had at other times, because Paul had not yet finished running his race. He still had to learn some things. It was here where he wrote Philippians and emerged so recharged that the remaining years of his ministry were the most productive of all.
In all my years with the Lord, I have learned that what we go through puts real backbone into us. It allows us to dig deep into God and lay claim to His promises. It gives us opportunity to search out a matter and find out truth and revelation we may never have bothered seeking other wise. I do not agree with any “suffering doctrine” because Jesus did the suffering for us. He won the victory, but that victory was not just on the cross at Calvary—it started in the garden at Gethsemane when He chose to follow through on the Father’s plan of salvation.
Gethsemane was the crushing place (the meaning of the name) where He was crushed. Calvary was where He died and Joseph’s tomb was where he was buried, but His home is in heaven where we shall be shortly.
Again, I tell you that heaven is the most amazing and wonderful place. I’ve been there several times and on each occasion what I saw and experienced is beyond description. Words cannot adequately describe it. We shall be there one day—soon...
You will find only one man-made thing there and it is the scars in the Lord’s body, but they are not scars as we think of them. They are testimonies or trophies of His love and grace.
There is no blood, because, like Jesus, our bodies will be changed, or glorified. We will know each other. I’ll get to meet those of you I have not yet met and that will be great. My wife Marjorie and I will still be married, but not in the way we are here.
That is indeed a mystery. She will have her home and I will have mine, as will you. The Lord recently told her that her mansion is now finished. I’ve seen mine and it is beautiful. Saints, we are so close now it is not funny.
It is often said that there are no tears in heaven and that is correct—but only to a point. There are tears in heaven, but not in the way you may think.
This is what I want to talk about. Firstly, let us look at tears in the bible and I shall share some very interesting stories leading up to a wonderful finale.
In 2 Kings 20, Isaiah came up to him and told him to put his house into order because he was going to die. What a word to get. Imagine a prophet of God coming up to you and telling you to get your life right because you are going to die. I’d rather have someone tell me that I would receive a million dollars!
Around this time, Hizkiyahu became ill to the point of death. Yesha‘yahu the prophet, the son of Amotz, came and said to him, “Here is what Adonai says: ‘Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not live.” 2 Kings 1:20
Hezekiah wept tears and prayed:
Hezekiah turned toward the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Lord, please remember that I have always obeyed you. I have given myself completely to you and have done what you said was right.” Then Hezekiah cried loudly. 2 Kings 20:2-3
This man had lived right before the Lord. He said that he always obeyed God; given himself completely to God and done what was right—but the prophet told him he was going to die! I want you to see something important here.
Isaiah was a genuine prophet and spoke truth—but he told Hezekiah only what God had told him—at that moment in time.
This reinforces what I have been saying for years that a real prophet of God only shares what God has revealed—nothing more and nothing less—and only shares under the inspiration and motivation of the Holy Spirit. A real prophet never speaks until God sends him or Her. A real prophet never comes out with regular prophetic utterances as we often see in “prophetic lists” or “prophetic ministries”. Many of them have a well rehearsed repertoire and what they say is almost always designed to tickle itching ears.
Suddenly, it seems, as Hezekiah poured his heart out to God and before the prophet had left the courtyard, God answered.
Isaiah spun around on his feet in mid stride, walked back to Hezekiah and delivered an unrehearsed, spontaneous, up to date message. Often times God can take us by surprise. We can think we are doing great and suddenly, God can burst our bubble with something new.
I only share that to illustrate that we need to be constantly listening to the Lord’s voice and able to act immediately on it. Anyone can hear the Lord’s voice! Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice, so if you are one of His sheep and listening, you should hear Him. It is easy really. All one needs to do is start listening and start doing what He says. If you are not sure, ask Him and learn how to recognize His voice. He will never tell you to do wacky things or something contrary to His will.
Isaiah had finished his first assignment when God suddenly gave him another. It is very important to know that this can and does happen, so do not think that doing one task is the end of the story.
Before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, the Lord spoke his word to Isaiah: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears, so I will heal you. Three days from now you will go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. I will save you and this city from the king of Assyria; I will protect the city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’ ” Then Isaiah said, “Make a paste from figs.” So they made it and put it on Hezekiah’s boil, and he got well. 2 Kings 20:4-7
God promised to do something supernatural. If you read on, Hezekiah asked that the sun went backwards ten degrees and it did.
The second factor is that God told Isaiah what to do and it was practical. It was to make a fig poultice and apply it to that boil.
Jesus followed this principle. If you care to study it out, He healed three different cases of blindness in different ways each time. Just because we did something successfully once, does not mean we can keep doing it the same way every time. If you remember other teachings I have shared about the brass serpent God told Moses to make, it was only needed for that occasion and never to be done again, but Israel turned what God did once only and made it into an idol that another prophet called a Nehushtan. Please never do that! The church is full of them!
Before Hezekiah was healed, the enemy came to him and he foolishly revealed things to them that he should not have done.
David has his share of tears. He wept buckets. Psalm 6 deserves mention:
Lord, don’t correct me when you are angry; don’t punish me when you are very angry. Lord, have mercy on me because I am weak. Heal me, Lord, because my bones ache. I am very upset. Lord, how long will it be? Lord, return and save me; save me because of your kindness. Dead people don’t remember you; those in the grave don’t praise you. I am tired of crying to you. Every night my bed is wet with tears; my bed is soaked from my crying. My eyes are weak from so much crying; they are weak from crying about my enemies. Get away from me, all you who do evil, because the Lord has heard my crying. The Lord has heard my cry for help; the Lord will answer my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and troubled. They will turn and suddenly leave in shame.
I mentioned how we would be best not to speak, especially when we are angry. The bible never tells us not to get angry, but it says to sin not. Jesus got angry! Look at what David said:
I will be careful how I act and will not sin by what I say. I will be careful what I say around wicked people.” So I kept very quiet. I didn’t even say anything good, but I became even more upset. I became very angry inside, and as I thought about it, my anger burned. So I spoke......
Lord, what hope do I have? You are my hope. Save me from all my sins. Don’t let wicked fools make fun of me.....
Lord, hear my prayer, and listen to my cry. Do not ignore my tears..... Psalm 39 selected verses
Read also Psalm 42 and Job 16:16-20.
When Paul was in Miletus, he sent for the elders in the church at Ephesus and when they arrived, he said:
You know about my life from the first day I came to Asia. You know the way I lived all the time I was with you. The evil people made plans against me, which troubled me very much. But you know I always served the Lord unselfishly, and I often cried.
He spoke of tears and sadness in 2 Corinthians chapter 2, but I like the part where he gave thanks:
...But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s victory parade. God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume.
This is what it is all about. This life is fleeting—a vapor that will dissipate like the morning mist when the sun rises and whilst we like the good life in the here and now and all that goes with it, all that we cling to, and often preach about will be gone.
There is a wealth transfer coming—but it is not coming to everyone and it is not coming to those who presently boast and brag in their prosperity doctrines today.
I did that once, until the Lord showed me preachers in hell when He took me there for 45 minutes.
We do not need jets, big mansions or mega churches to preach like Paul did. They help of course and, whilst the laborer is worthy of his hire, we really should not charge fees for what we have freely received.
There are treasures to be had of course, but our real treasures are in heaven, where those who are there will walk on solid gold streets meters thick and see precious gems and diamonds as big as motor cars adorning rock gardens.
Our real treasures are being able to walk up to a tree made out of sapphires with leaves of emeralds and sparkling diamonds like Christmas decorations as flowers and touch it to hear music emanate from it.
My mansion has a huge ornate marble staircase, that has gold leaf and precious gems inset on the handrails leading off a pure marble floor.
The carpet is extremely thick and has a purple hue with an intricate gold pattern woven into it.
Click here to visit the page Heaven that summarizes my visits there.
You have one that is tailor-made to your own tastes, because the Lord knows what you like.
There are rewards there—golden crowns that represent who or what you are or what you did here—rewards for your faithfulness and obedience and if that ever happens—a martyr’s crown.
There are all kinds of things you will see there and one thing that you will see are tears—yes, tears in heaven.
Revelation chapter seven speaks on “end time events” and I will not comment on them.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there. Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See! God’s Sh’khinah is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away.”
Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!”
I guess you will like that, but wait—there’s more! Psalm 56:8 is wonderful. It says:
You take account of my wandering; put my tears in Your bottle;
Dear friend, if you are hurting and weeping, God is collecting your tears and putting them into a bottle. The meaning of the bottle is uncertain. The Hebrew does not say much of it at all and so I will not try to say what it is.
I will however say that when God picks up a tear, He puts it in His bottle and makes a record of it in His book. He counts every one!
This means that He knows what you are going through.
It does not automatically imply that He will deliver you from it, but He is right there with you. He has to be, if He is able to collect each teardrop! This shows me how much He loves us and cares for us and this is a good place to stop!
In my usual manner, I will close with, “I’ve read the end of the book and we win”.
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