"Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord. Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities."
Isaiah 54: 1a
Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor;
This verse should not make sense if read with human logic. Why are people who are barren even told to cheer? However, because God's thoughts are very deep, there must be meaning behind His words.
When it comes to being thankful, never succumb to life. People who are always thankful will never be defeated by circumstances.
3 Reasons Why You Should Be Thankful Every Day, even during "barren time":
(This can be in the context of child-bearing, business, productivity, or other obstacles in life)
- Be thankful because our names are written in the Book of Life.
Things aren't always good. While in the valley of life, believe that all our suffering right now is incomparable to the glory that God provides. Remember that life is temporary.
- Be thankful for what we still have.
Don't lament what we've lost. What we still have is God's gift. People usually appreciate something when it's lost. Be thankful for health. Isn't that health what a sick person strives for?
Be thankful for the people around us, our families, our friends.
Barren business? There is still health, there is still family, there is still food on the table. Be grateful for what we still have.
- Be thankful for God's promises.
God will never break His promises. As long as we still have 1 promise from God, it means we still have something to look forward to tomorrow. The future is still full of hope. The day is looking bright and full of peace!
Because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord.
Give thanks and rejoice because of the LORD. If we rejoice because of God, then God will give us what our hearts desire. Miracles are not given to those who grumble. Remember the Israelites who did not enter the promised land.
Miracles are given to people who are thankful. Remember the miracle of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, remember Paul and Silas in prison. There are miracles for all of us!
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.
In addition to being thankful during "barren" times, take the opportunity to:
- Strengthen the vision!
Trust that God's promises will be fulfilled! God is working behind the scenes. Faith is needed in difficult times. Faith will help us see what is not seen.
- Remodeling / Repairing Ways
Don't just sit around waiting for a miracle to happen. Take action to improve yourself. There will be new ways we must develop in these times of crisis. Remember my message in the previous devotions that a life setback will be a setup. God never plans for accidents. When you've reached the bottom, the only way is the bounce back up.
- Develop a Heart
Remember, what spread to the right and to the left is not our business or service, but ourselves. Ask God to expand our hearts because we cannot be big people with small hearts. God never prepares a blessing, but the blessing is there. What needs to be prepared is ourselves. So don't chase blessings; pursue God's heart!
God is preparing a worthy people for the blessing that has been prepared and to inherit a throne. God promotes when we can maximize ourselves with whatever is left today. 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish were maximized to feed 5,000 men. If we expand left and right, whatever we hold will expand as well.
For that, when praying, ask God to make us a blessing.
Excerpted from Philip Mantofa's sermon, April 8, 2020, Instagram Live.