DOUBLE PORTION OF EVERLASTING JOY
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
— Isaiah 61:7 (NIV)
Yesterday we looked at some outcomes from Christian women’s conferences in Central Asia. When deep issues are discussed and prayed for, and when barriers of shame and dishonor are broken through, there are usually many tears. One participant said, “In fact enough tears have been shed to make many trees grow that we won’t have any desert places left!”
As a result of God’s healing movement new initiatives are born to bring healing to abused and rejected women and children in society: ministry in orphanages, to street children and abused children; outreach projects to women in prostitution, safe havens for abused women; involvement in politics to stop legislation on polygamy; preventive health care; teaching on HIV/Aids and caring for patients; involvement in pastoral care, intercession and prayer ministries; ministry to people in prison, etc.
There is a desire to not only participate in a conference, but also to use what has been learned and to develop more skills. Three young Uzbek women who had been to a conference before wanted to come back to be part of the prayer team, so that they can learn, and take back the skills to minister to their own women!
Others shared that they want to minister to other women when they go back home. Some churches used to have women’s ministry but for some reasons it had stopped. After this training the women wanted to revitalize the women’s ministry in their churches.
A speaker at one of the conferences says:
“In other countries, we saw Priscilla’s—Christian wives who were standing beside their husbands in loving and serving the Lord. In Central Asia, we not only saw the Priscilla’s, we also saw Esther’s and Deborah’s—women who by themselves are standing strong in their faith and for God. Whether they are single or have an unbelieving husband does not stop them.
“The women we have met in that training seem to have Esther’s character: ‘If I perish, I perish.’ They stand up despite the clear warnings of their husbands, neighbors or the authorities. They know the cost. One knew very well that her husband might lose his government job if a family member would be found witnessing for Jesus. She was warned by her husband to tone down her evangelistic zeal. But she could not keep herself from speaking of Jesus. Two others have marriages about to fail if it were not for their enduring stand as wives to keep the family intact. These participants are capable to lead other women even after just the first training.
As the women penetrate the walls of shame and break the silence, God fulfills His promise of Isaiah 61:7. Instead of shame and dishonor you shall have a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy!
RESPONSE: Today I want to receive a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy from the Lord.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord that You can turn shame and dishonor into everlasting joy!
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.