Encouragement in the Faith

I had a dream this morning that I believe God showed me to encourage myself and others in the faith. There are three people in this dream who represent us in our walk with Christ.

The first person was full of cold, lumpy, grimy mud.  The mud made the person look very ugly.  The mud covered their face and body so as not to be able to see who they really were.  All I could see was muck and mire.

This person cried out the name of Jesus. He came and he washed the mud and muck off her.  Because there was so much dirt on the person, Jesus took extra care to remove it all, taking a while before it was all gone.  When the person came out of the water, she was a totally different person.  She was clean.  She was lovely.  Christ had done a great work.

The person here of course represents us all when we come to Jesus and ask him to be our Lord and Saviour.  When we come to him, we are so full of sin (anything that goes against God’s holiness).  We were “dirty,” “grimy,” and “ugly.”  Sin separated us from God (Romans 3:23).  Praise the Lord, Jesus died on the cross so he can cleanse us, washing us clean, pure as snow.  The mud and mire is gone.  We are a new creation.

Dirty

The second person looked more like a cactus.  There were prickly spikes all over the person. The person was hard to be around as whenever someone came by they would get hurt.  No one could say anything, give hugs, give and compassion or concern to the prickly one.  This person began to realise she was hurting others and herself.  She was so full of hurt and pain.  Life was so hard.  In order to protect herself, she put up borders (spikes) so she wouldn’t get hurt again.  However, the spikes was pushing her farther and farther from the ones she needed in her life.

She cried out to Jesus and he came.  She grieved the loss of her friends due to her own pain.  Jesus gave her a tool to scrape off the spikes.  He spent much time with her, healing her of the things that hurt her.  However, the greatest thing she held onto was bitterness and unforgiveness.  Jesus told her that the only way to be completely healed and the spikes to be gone, was to let go of the anger and forgive those who hurt her.  It took a long time, but gradually, each spike fell off and the woman became a totally different person.  She forgave those who caused her pain.  She let go of the bitterness.  Her friends came back and she apologised for all the hurt she had caused.  Jesus answered because she called out his name.  This woman instead of being a prickly cactus became a beautiful rose.  True, there were a few thorns here and there, but time and Jesus heals the wounds.

The last person I saw was like a shining diamond with many flaws.  There was much beauty as she was taken out of much dirt, washed off, rubbish was taken away.  The person left was still being changed into who Jesus desired her to be.  However, other people and circumstances of life was just hard.  With every blow that came, another nick was found in the diamond.  She didn’t understand this.  She was asking over and over again why.  Why would Jesus allow these things to happen? She was tired, hurt, cracked and dry.

She called on Jesus, and he came.  He gave her a simple piece of sandpaper.  When she asked why, he said the circumstances of life, ill health, people who rubbed her the wrong way, loss of job, constant pain, etc. was being used to purify her to be what God intended her to be.  He said the sandpaper was to be used to smooth off the rough edges.  He asked her to stay faithful to him despite all that was going on.  He is there with her. He is carrying her through.  He reminded her that the sufferings of this life is nothing compared to the glory of heaven.

I learnt a lot from this dream.  It was as if I saw my own life through these different scenarios.  And then, when I read my first devotion this morning, this is the scripture that just confirmed all of this I saw….

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when you faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  –James 1:2-4 NLT

God is not finished with me or you yet.  Let’s stay faithful to him and he will change us into who he desires to be.  Are you willing to let him? Call out to Jesus! He is as close as the call of his name.  He will come and he will answer.

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