Wheat Field ready for a harves

For Your Troubles

    I grew up living on a farm and learned many lessons of life through farming. It is only through many troubles that the farmer receives a good crop.  The farmer must spend hard earned money to buy the seed to be sown; however, long before he can plant the seed, the farmer must prepare the ground.  He must break up the hard ground and keep it plowed to get rid of the weeds. Then he must plant the seed at the appropriate time of the year and with the right amount of moisture in the soil.  He may be faced with rain or hail storms, insect infestation, and the lack of rain.  However, as he is faithful through it all and obedient to the Lord, he receives a double harvest for all his hardship and labor.

    God desires to bless you and to give you "double for your troubles."   Jesus said that in this world we will have troubles!  Sometimes the troubles come as a consequence for our own sins.  Sometimes we suffer because of the sins of others.  Sometimes God allows us to face trouble as a way of proving our faith.  In any case, trouble will come.  The good new is that God desires to bless us and give us "double for our troubles."  Remember the words of Jesus, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly"  (John 10:10).  The expression "more abundantly" means to bless us beyond that which we can measure.  We can fill a glass to the brim, but when it is running over, it is difficult to measure.

    As I begun this article, I am facing an upper respiratory infection which I have been battling over one week.  It has not been very pleasant and I am on my last antibiotic today, but still feel very lousy. I probably over works myself trying move my home office to a different location in our house and weaken my immune system.  However, I believe that God wants to give me double for my troubles.  I believe that in the end, God wants to bless me out of this situation.  Why?  It is a principle of truth in the Word of God.  ((now some time later ... God has blessed me with a new revelation and direction.)) 

    "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee" (Zechariah 9:9-12).  These Old Testament verses begin with a well known prophecy concerning the coming of Jesus. Next, Zechariah moves to historical context about Jerusalem.  Look again at, "As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water."  Looking back through the eyes of the New Testament, Zechariah is also speaking about the shedding of the blood of Jesus to set us free.  All too often, we find ourselves as prisoners in a dry pit where there is not water. We can go without food for some time, but we can only go without water for several days. We are not only in pit, but a dry pit of despair.  We are to turn to our stronghold. David wrote, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble"  (Psalms 46:1).  Solomon said, "The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe"  (Proverbs 18:10).  However, here a hindrance. We sometimes find ourselves to be "prisoners of hope."  Some will say, "I hope that I will go to heaven when I die."  In contrast, the Word says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (I John 5:13).  Sometimes we may say, "I hope that some day I will get out of this debt." In contrast, the Words says that God will give us "double" for our troubles.  God wants to give us double blessing for the curses that we have been living under.     

    He could have be speaking of Joseph. Joseph suffered being ridiculed by his jealous brothers, put in a pit, and sold by his own brothers as a slave to a caravan of Ishmeelites going to Egypt. "And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it"  (Genesis 37:24).  "Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt"  (Genesis 37:28).  He was thus taken as a slave to a foreign country into a entirely different culture.  He became a slave in the house of the pharaoh and began to become a trusted slave, but the wife of the pharaoh wanted him to sleep with her, but he refused and ran away leaving his coat behind.  She then falsely accused Joseph trying to rape her.  He was then placed in a dungeon for an extended period of time.  However, because of his faithfulness to God, God brought him up to be second in command over all Egypt. "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.  And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;  And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt" (Genesis 41:41-43).  God gave him more than double for his troubles.

    Job opened the door for Satan to work in his life through his fear. He lost his children, his possessions, and his health. He defended his own righteousness and even implied that God was unrighteous. However, when he repented and prayed for his friends God restored to him twice as much as he had before.  "And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before"  (Job 42:10). God gave him double for his troubles.

    He could have been speaking of David.  "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings" (Psalms 40:2).  David also said, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits"  (Psalms 103:2).  He then lists at least 28 benefits for blessing the Lord.  God gave him more than double for all his troubles.

    Obededom : Eli and his sons had sinned and the ark of God was stolen by the enemy in a battle. Sometime later, David decided to recover the ark and bring it back to Jerusalem.  However, he didn't follow the instructions of the Lord in carrying the ark.  Rather than the priest carrying it on poles, he had the are ark placed in a new cart.  As the cart hit a bump in the road, the cart tilted and Ussah reached out and touched it to keep it from falling off the cart. God struck Ussah dead for touching it. This extremely upset David because David didn't know how to return the ark to Jerusalem.  David, the king, became very much afraid to do anything with ark.  He decide to place the ark in the house of Obededom.  Under those circumstances, how would you like to be commanded to keep the ark in your house for three months?   However, God blessed Obededom and all his house for his troubles.  "And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household"  (II Samuel 6:11).  

    "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins"  (Isaiah 40:1-2).  This is such a marvelous verse of freedom. Sins bring warfare to us within and without.  They bring guilt and condemnation.  They bring bondage and death. However, God said that we can now through Christ receive comfort.  The battle is over. Our bent toward sin or bondage is pardoned. We have received double for the sins. Sin is both toward man and toward God and in that since, there is a double punishment. However, God wants also doubly comfort us.  The word "comfort" is mentioned twice in the first verse. 

    "For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them"  (Isaiah 61:7).  Did you see it?  God wants to give you double joy for all you shame and confusion. God wants to bless us with everlasting joy, not just a joy that here on moment and that next it is gone. It is what is rightfully ours through faith in the finished work of Jesus.  Furthermore, God said that he would do it in their land.  This means we can receive it here and now and don't have to wait until we get to heaven.

    Nebuchadnezzar was a prideful man and took credit himself for building the great kingdom that God had given to him. Because of this God took everything away from him including his sanity.  For seven years is lived in the wilderness as a wild animal.  However, when he looked up to heaven and blessed God, God restored unto him his kingdom and even increased it.  "At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase"  (Daniel 4:36-37).  The Hebrew word which is translated "excellent" literally means "exceeding".  He receive double or more for his troubles.

    Elisha, received a double portion of the Spirit for all the ridicule he experienced by his fellow prophetic classmates.  He was mocked by the young prophetic students over and over.  However, he asked for a double portion of the Spirit. "And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so" (II Kings 2:9-10).  He received a double portion and did twice as many miracles as did Elijah. 

    Abraham was willing to sacrifice his miracle son, who he and Sarah had when she was ninety years old and he was ninety-nine years old.  When Isaac was a young boy, God tested Abraham's faith by asking him to sacrifice Isaac upon a burnt altar.  Abraham believed that if he did so, that God would have to resurrect Isaac to fulfill His promise.  After placing his son upon the altar, Abraham raised his knife to kill Issac, but God provided a ram caught in the thicket. Then God spoke to him to say, "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies"  (Genesis 22:17).  God was to bless Abraham more than double for his trouble, he was to be the father of many nations.

    There is an Old Testament principle that we can also apply in the New Testament.  The principle is that the eldest son receives a double portion of the Father's inheritance.  "But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his"  (Deuteronomy 21:17).  In Genesis 25:31-34, we see how important the birthright was in that Jacob lusted for Esau's birthright.  We can also see this truth in the parable of the prodigal son.  "And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine"  (Luke 15:31).  Jesus is the first born, the only begotten Son of God.  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"  (John 3:16).  Jesus is the heir of the Father.  Jesus said, "All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you"  (John 16:15).  For those who commit their lives to Jesus, they are made "sons" of God in Jesus.  "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name"  (John 1:12).  In becoming sons of God in Jesus, we also become heirs of God.  "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together"  (Romans 8:17).  "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him"  (I Corinthians 2:9).  However, the Holy Spirit is to show us our inheritance in Jesus.  "All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you"  (John 16:15).  In case we doubt God's love for us as heirs, Jesus said, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom"  (Luke 12:32).  It is not just in eternity, but also here and now.  "And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life" (Mark 10:29-30). God wants to give us double for our troubles.

    Several things happened to me as I have been writing this article to confirm this principle in the Word.  One Sunday as we received the Lord's supper, I went forward and the individual serving, by "accident" handed me two small portions of unleavened bread.  She, smiling said, "Well, I guess you are doubly blessed." I readily agreed being reminded of this article that I was writing.  :-)  A couple of Sunday later, the same thing happen with two unleavened wafers being stuck together.  Recently, I went to get a photo enlarged into a poster.  The sales person said that their one printer was not working, but that she could use a different one. I said, "OK."  However, when she put the photo file in the computer, both printers printed a copy giving me two copies. :-)   A couple of days ago, I was counseling a young couple who are looking at marriage.  When they started to leave, each individual started to donate for the counseling.  I pointed out that they were paying me "double", but they insisted on both giving to the ministry. :-)  Receiving a double for my troubles is fun!
What are the qualifications for receiving the double?

1. We should be faithful as was Abraham.
2. We should be persistent as was Elisha.
3. We should be repentant as Job.
4. We should be submissive as was Obededom.
5. We should be obedient as was Joseph.
6. We should be worshipful with praise as was Nebuchadnezzar.
7. We should be receptive as was all those listed.