Psalm 33:18-22 (NLT)
But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.
Did you know that believers experience times of famine even though God has promised to supply everything that we need? The Lord provides for His People according to faith and righteousness. It is not as complex as one may think but based on relativity. Those who live in close proximity to the Lord will benefit from His Presence and Glory. Sin separates us from God’s Goodness but Jesus made a way to escape darkness and return to the Light of His Amazing Love. God has a plan in place for your life. It is not just any plan but includes a future and hope. Faith produces confident hope. Without faith and hope, people will not trust the Lord but seek to serve themselves. The Lord watches over them who fear Him with reverential awe. Those who rely on His Unfailing Love will be satisfied and prosper in every season. He promises that such people will be rescued from death (salvation) and keeps them alive in times of famine. Where is your hope today?
For the last month, it would seem that our family is facing famine but not as envisioned by man. This famine has depleted us. It is an extreme season. To paint a more vivid picture, it is like being a wet cloth wrung out over and over until it is nearly dry. Every bit of water pressed out until one is scarcely aware it was ever there. I believer true worship begins when “we” are completely stripped down to our faith and hope in God approaching Him with nothing to offer but love and trust in His Great Name. When nothing seems to be going right and faced with opposition on every side, if we can crawl into His Presence and offer some kind of praise despite our violent hunger for satisfaction and thirst for contentment – trying o find something to give. This is famine. It is hard. Where is God? Why hasn’t He come? What is He doing? How do I live in the famines of life fully trusting the Lord?
Matthew 24:4-14 (NLT)
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
Jesus warned us times of famine would come. We live in the end times as the Lord prepares His Triumphant Return, His Close Proximity is causing increased pressure due to its compromised state of prevalent sin and blatant disregard for Jesus Christ with even many Christians attempting to redefine God’s Grace and rewrite His Law. There is more to come. The love of many has indeed grown cold and as they choose to lust for God’s Hand and never seek to love God’s Heart – mankind’s love and concern for one another has waned as well. The one who endures to the end will be saved. Those who survive the famine will endure. Jesus is indeed coming back. Until then, we live in and out of famine day by day.
Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.
Hunger and thirst press us to find fulfillment. For those who hunger and thirst after God, they will be satisfied. The Lord has the Power to satisfy every living thing. He feeds those who look to Him in hope. (Psalm 145:15-17) God is attempting to lead you to mercy which produces prosperity in our life by righteousness which is right-standing with Him. To be content and satisfied requires nothing more on our part than seeking the Lord wholeheartedly. He wants to fill us with contentment, peace and satisfaction. It is His Plan. But you cannot have these things your way – it is only through Jesus Christ. He is the Way, Truth and Life. (John 14:6) God’s Goodness and Unfailing Love are pursing you. (Psalm 23:5-6) But sometimes, it is in the midst of a war that we are invited to feast on His Goodness and it is only then that we are hungry enough to accept. He is working out all the details of your life for good. (Romans 8:28) However, until we are convinced enough to live in the Presence of God in His Righteousness that is the foundation of His Throne (Psalm 97:2) – it is impossible to find contentment and satisfaction. God who uses unconventional methods. God blesses innocence. (Psalm 37:18-19) The Word of God says that they will always have more than enough. Maybe it is during such times that as believers we will dig a little deeper. I know that when the budget is a bit stretched at the end of the month, it may be necessary to dig a little deeper in the pantry and deep freezer to make it through often discovering I had more than enough all along but never looked beneath the surface to find it. God will shield and protect those who love and fear Him in the famines of life. (Psalm 33:18-20)
Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
My God supplies all my needs from His Glorious Riches. Fear of lack can produce doubt that my God is able to do what He promised. There are some “lacks” in our life that are detrimental to our satisfaction and contentment produced by faith leading to confident hope. A lack of understanding can kill you. (Job 36:11-12) We must seek the Lord and press in to know and understand what He does and how He does it. A lack of self-control makes us foolish in our endeavors which puts in bondage to our sin unable to live in the freedom the Lord has given us. (Proverbs 5:22-23) Lack of common sense can destroy a person. (Proverbs 10:21) Lack of repentance leads to death every time for it is repentance that leads away from sin to salvation. (2 Corinthians 7:10) And of course, the most well-known lack which is lack of knowledge which the Lord indicates causes His People to perish. (Hosea 4:6) All of these lacks produce an extreme longing in life. Famine produces extreme hunger. It is a violent urge for satisfaction. Could it be that God allows famine in life so we will seek total satisfaction from Him?
Psalm 63:1-5 (NLT)
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.
Total satisfaction is found in the Presence of God. Righteousness is a requirement. Hunger and thirst creates desperation to be filled. When the famine you are in causes you to long for God, you will prosper on your way through it. When you become desperate for the Lord, you will do anything to find Him and be where He is. Your life will change in the midst of family and God will bless you there because now your body, mind and spirit agree – you need Jesus. His Love is better than life itself. Famine produces a longing for God. (Psalm 42:1-2) This longing can lead to fulfillment by using this time to seek the Lord wholeheartedly. God allows famine to produce righteousness and a harvest of blessing in our lives. (Psalm 107:33-34) Famine produces prayer. (Psalm 143:6) Getting to know the Lord more and more through righteous communication and intimate encounters will only produce a deeper longing to be where He is enabling us to walk in His Ways and experience the Goodness of His Plan for our life. But we will not seek the Lord until deciding that He is better than what we have. Sometimes people refuse to do so until they have nothing else left in life.
Isaiah 35:1-10 (NLT)
Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the LORD will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it. Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
The best part of famine is it leads to full restoration. When emptied, you are ready to be filled. By releasing all the counterfeits and substitutes that didn’t bring fulfillment – now you can be filled anew with the Spirit of God and satisfied as you walk in His Ways and seek His Face. Once you experience the Grace and Glory of God on the other side of famine, you will never go back again. His Love is better than life. His Plan always exceeds our wildest dreams. His Way always leads to goodness and mercy. He will never let the righteous fall. God is THAT good all of the time. But we may never know this until we experience life in the famine walking by faith to the other side. Those who have an encounter with Jesus Christ will never hunger and thirst again even in the darkest night and lowest valleys of life – He is will satisfy your soul! (John 4:13-14)
Revelation 7:15-17 (NLT)
“That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”