A Word Of Assurance In Troubled Time – By Jack Harris – January 17, 2021
The Last couple of weeks have been a tough time for me personally. Within a two day period, four more people who were a part of our lives experience passed away; three of them died from the Coronavirus. This was followed by the shocking display on the News that our Capitol had been stormed. The assault and the equally offensive reaction that followed it tell me very clearly that this isn’t about the violation of Law and Order, it’s about a vindictive power struggle between two political factions and their own self-interest, with little regard for the nation or the rest of us. I mean, Come on people, look around you! Our Country is reeling under the weight of an ongoing worldwide pandemic, political and economic uncertainty and a Nation so divided that it threatens to implode in its own chaos.
Overly dramatic you say; maybe, maybe not, but it certainly describes the undercurrent of the fears of much of our citizenry. So my question is, Where is the maturity of leadership that should understand these things? I’m not talking about knee-jerk authoritarianism, there’s plenty of that out there, I’m talking about a voice of optimism and assurance that can pull a fractured people into agreement instead of fueling their fears and dividing them further. You’re going to be hard pressed to find that anywhere right now.
As for the Media and their perpetual fueling of the fires of adversity, a verse from an old King Crimson song from my youth says it all . . .
Cat’s foot iron claw, Neuro-surgeons scream for more, At paranoia’s poison door. Twenty first Century Schizoid Man.-King Crimson
What’s that supposed to mean? The same thing it meant back in the 1960’s, when the nation was tearing itself apart. It’s not so much the logic of the verse as it is the spiritual impression it conveys.
My point? I’m simply summing up my personal assessment of the Spirit of the Age as I see it. If you find yourself in disagreement, move on to something else, if not, read on.
There seems to be very little out there in the way of comfort for the average individual or family. My impression is that while our “Benefactors” bellow on about our best interests, there’s very little in the way of actual encouragement and comfort. Much of this is true, even of the Church, which seems more interested in partisan politics and applying the Word of God to them, than actually ministering to a flock that’s been sheared and skinned down to the nub and standing shivering and huddled together in the cold. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of great ministries and churches out there doing the job; but they’re not getting the press are they?
Having set you up with my rant, which I’m reasonably assured many would identify with, let me get to the why of it.
TESTIMONY: AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE COMFORTER
I’d like to share a remarkable experience I recently had; perhaps you’ve also had a similar encounter of late. If not, don’t be discouraged, the promise is as much for you as any of the rest of us. I’m talking about an encounter with The GOD of all Comfort.
The One our New Testament Greek calls, the Parakletos: the Advocate, the Counsel for the Defense, the One who brings help, nurture, assurance or as translated in our English Bible, Comfort.
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
Before I go on, I want to be very clear: my word of comfort is in no way contradictory to the word of warning, of the threat of judgement to come and the call for men to repent, to change their hearts and ways. These two, warning and comfort, are a part of a greater whole that’s being worked out in all of our lives; so don’t misunderstand my desire to share a very real word of comfort in the midst of the chaos of the times as an attempt to ignore its ills. This is a word for those who have made GOD their refuge. It’s also an appeal for those unfamiliar with Him and HIS reality to open your hearts and discover, as we, who’ve come to believe have, the source of life, of resource when all other resources have failed.
I was recently visited by The Comforter Himself. This was not something I sought or was praying about, which convinces me all the more of the reality of the experience. Understand, I am not capable of producing what I experienced of myself. I had no control over the encounter at all. It was simply the All Knowing Presence of The Holy Spirit. Suddenly I was surrounded within and without by a vast endless ocean of perfect peace. Though no word was spoken, this Presence communicated very clearly an impression that I understood as a spoken word. I can only describe it as the Nature and Intent of His Presence. Without doubt, I was in the presence of The Comforter. The unspoken word, resident in the very nature of the Presence was, All will be well, everything will be alright. And I knew in my heart, without a doubt that it will be.
I realize that this may sound overly optimistic or even naive in light of today’s realities, like wishful thinking on my part. That’s the problem isn’t it? Trying to communicate something that comes from the LORD in words. It’s easy to miss the bigger picture involved in what was revealed. The word, or impression if you will, I received didn’t necessarily imply a cessation of trouble, it implied it’s resolve. It can be summed up in a very familiar passage of scripture.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. -Proverbs 3:5
In other words, there’s a process involved; a working out of the circumstances within the challenges, i.e., a very real spiritual struggle behind the manifest reality, but the outcome is assured.
Am I speaking a prophetic word? Yes and no. If by a prophetic word you mean an encounter with the Spirit of GOD where HE said, Thus saith The LORD, Go and tell my people … No, it wasn’t like that at all; yet I understood this to be something for all of us, not me alone.
You’ll recall that I mentioned, there was no spoken word as such, but there was a crystal clear communication of intent. Imagine; you step into a bath, you immediately understand beyond doubt as to the temperature of the water, you need no thermometer. Your own senses tell you whether the water is hot, cold, cool or warm. If bath soap or fragrance was added, you immediately know this because you can smell its presence. Your eyes would also see important cues, steam rising from the water, the presence of bubbles or color from dye etc. All this information you’d receive in an instant, not because you were told it; you’d understand because you were immersed in it.
When the Comforter came, HE came suddenly, HIS presence started within and then surrounded me until the experience was like total immersion; like being cast into the center of a sea of peace and assurance which of Itself, was cognitive intelligence. One simply understood what the comfort was about. It was like being immersed in a thought, and eternal thought; may I be so bold as to say, immersed in the mind of GOD. I simply understood the why of the comfort given.
What I’m sharing with you is in the nature of a personal testimony. Like most of you, I’m familiar with the experience of being in the Presence of God, of the movings of HIS Holy Spirit; but this is something fresh, for now! For what’s currently going on in our world: It speaks of the LORD’s response to it on the behalf of HIS people.
Like any testimony or prophetic utterance, you must judge as to it’s validity for yourself; it will bear witness with your spirit or it won’t. However, I suspect that when GOD moves like this, HE doesn’t do so for my benefit alone; He’s speaking to His people
When GOD speaks prophetically through Isaiah, He’s comforting His people, those who believe Him in the midst of a judgement to bring correction to their nation that’s in progress. This doesn’t change the fact that He’s dealing with the nations sins, He simply is assuring them that this process is working toward the saving of the nation and its restoration by His dealing with the sins of its Capitol.
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.
The custom of the day in a judicial action was once the offense had been settled, the societal debt paid, the written charges were closed, that is, they were “Doubled” or folded over, indicating a pardon received.
Somehow, here at the end of the Age, living in what many of us understand as the last of the Last days, there is still hope, not only for us as individual believers, but for our nation and the nations of the whole earth.
What was done on the Cross in terms of Redemption is far more powerful and wide reaching than we possibly understand. Bad as things are; GOD has not taken His Spirit from the earth. How do I know this? The answer is simple: You’re still here.