Text: Hebrews 12:5-11
This teaching is on a type of harvest mentioned in the Bible that is A HARVEST OF PEACE.
The first place the word harvest is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 8:22. That verse has some important things to say about harvest which will help us better understand how God brings us into a season of harvest. I pray that after this teaching, you will experience and enjoy a bountiful harvest in Jesus mighty name, Amen!
Certainty of a harvest season:
In Genesis 8:22 God made a promise that as long as the earth endures, as long as we are still on this earth, there will be seasons of harvest. God has bound and committed Himself to ensuring that we have and enjoy seasons of harvest. This scripture basically assures us that no matter what you see or hear today, do not be discouraged, do not give up, your season of harvest will surely come. Just wait with confidence, wait in faith and your harvest will come.
God wants us to appreciate and value seasons of harvest:
Harvest both in the natural realm and spiritual realm is not an open ended season. When you say something is open ended it means there is no limit to its duration. Something that is open ended has no boundaries restricting it. To say harvest is an open ended season, it means it is a season with no duration. There isn’t a fixed or set time for harvest, it just goes on and on; from January 1st to December 31st you are experiencing harvest. But harvest time both in the natural and spiritual realm is not a season free from boundaries and restrictions or without any limit whatsoever to its duration. There is a time to plant, there is a time to harvest your crops. There is a particular time of the year when farmers experience harvest. There is a time for yam harvest for example. It is not from January 1st to December 31st. There is a time of the year when you see certain fruits in season. It’s not all fruits that you see from January 1st to December 31st. So also in the spiritual realm, there is a set time God has earmarked for our harvest. That is why Genesis 8:22 says there is seedtime and there is harvest time, there is summer and there is winter. It is not every day of the year that is summer or winter. In other words, it’s not every day of the year that will be rosy; no problems, no difficulties, everything in every area of your life moving perfectly well. We need to understand this because a lot of discouragement and frustration Christians experience is largely due to the fact that most Christians don’t understand how God operates. We need to understand that it is not every day that will be your day of harvest. But one thing is sure – your time of harvest will come. Our time of harvest; our time when the desires of our heart are met, the prayers we have been praying for years are answered and the yokes and bondages that have held us down are broken will surely come. Our time when prosperity, favour, promotion, honour and all kinds of good things start to manifest in our lives and things change for the better in our lives will surely come. Our season when we reap the benefits and blessings of our labour will surely locate us.
If God used to give us harvest seasons every day, we wouldn’t regard it as anything. When something is common you don’t see anything special in it. It isn’t treated with regard and you easily get tired of it. If some seasonal fruits become available all year round, there’s the tendency that people will easily get tired of them. This is the principle God operates as regards harvest. If you went through a lot of pain before you got a job or a promotion, you won’t joke with that job or promotion.
Harvest time therefore is a very special season in our lives because it is not a season that occurs every day in our walk with God. It is therefore a season God wants us to value and appreciate everything He gives us during this season. How we treat what God does for us in a particular harvest season will greatly affect whether we will have another harvest season or what we will get in the next harvest season God brings our way.
Today I have good news for you. You are about to step into a very special season of your life, a season like no other. It is time for you to enjoy a harvest of peace.
THE CONCEPT OF HARVEST OF PEACE
This is found in Hebrews 12: 5-11 (NIV). Verse 11 of this scripture tells us that a season of discipline from God is followed by a harvest of peace; a season of peace. I believe we all need a harvest of peace in our lives and God by His mercy will cause us to begin to enjoy this type of harvest.
UNDERSTANDING GOD’S DISCIPLINE
Parents usually discipline their children in two ways. An example of the first way is that your child has just resumed school and you sternly tell your child no watching of TV during school term on weekdays. It’s not like your child failed so you are punishing the child. It is because you want your child to concentrate on his or her studies, to be focused and serious so that at the end of the term he or she will have good grades that you put certain measures in place. You deny your child certain pleasures not because he or she did anything bad but because you want your child to be outstanding. This is a form of discipline.
Then there is a kind of discipline that is punitive in nature. For example, your child fought in school and injured someone and you tell your child because of this act, you are no longer going to buy your child the computer game you had earlier promised.
God’s discipline of us also comes in these two ways. Sometimes we go through hard times because God wants to get better results from us; He wants us to be better people, He wants us to be outstanding at the end of that hard time, at the end of that period of discipline. And sometimes, because of some sin we have committed, God takes us through some really hard times. The point here is that God’s discipline isn’t always brought about by sin. But whether it was discipline that we brought upon ourselves as a result of our own sin, carelessness or ignorance, or it is discipline we just have to undergo to be refined and become much better people who carry the glory of God, the period of discipline is never a pleasant time in one’s life as Hebrews 12:11 rightly states. That’s why it says ‘NO DISCIPLINE’ of any kind is pleasant to endure.
YOU CAN’T HAVE A HARVEST OF PEACE IF YOU DON’T ENDURE GOD’S DISCIPLINE
From Hebrews 12:5, we can see that there are two ways we MUST NOT respond to God’s discipline if we want to enjoy a harvest of peace.
1) Making light of God’s discipline – you can do this by compromising. For example, you have been waiting on God for a partner, you have prayed, fasted and attended vigils and done so many other things they advised you to do in your Singles Fellowship. But when marriage doesn’t seem to be coming your way, you take matters into your own hands and marry an unbeliever. You justify your actions with you will convert him or her. Like you have the power to convert anyone.
2) Losing heart or giving up when we are being disciplined by God. Some people just get tired and frustrated during times of discipline, times of hardship and they give up on themselves; their dreams, hopes and expectations. Some even give up on God.
THE SEEDTIME FOR A HARVEST OF PEACE
The seedtime for a harvest of peace (because every harvest must be preceded by a seedtime) is the period of ENDURANCE. It is the period when you don’t make light of God’s discipline, you don’t compromise despite how difficult things are. It is the period you don’t give up and keep pressing on even though you are going through an extremely difficult time in your finances, business, ministry, career or marriage. It is those who keep holding on in such times that eventually experience a harvest of peace.
WHAT IS THIS HARVEST OF PEACE?
1. A time when the storm is over. It is a time when God stills the storm in your life. When you are in a storm, because of the very bad weather condition on the sea, it’s difficult for any ship to move. In fact, the ship or boat you are in can capsize or be destroyed by the storm (Jonah 1:4). Because we are in our season of harvest of peace, the boat of your marriage, business or ministry that hasn’t been able to move forward or is even about to capsize because of the furious storm you have been facing, will begin to move forward from today because the storm is over for you (Psalm 107:28-30)! Believe God as this scripture says that every storm in your life will be stilled to a whisper.
A whisper is hard to hear. When there’s a storm, there’s a lot of noise. I know that for sometime now, there has been a lot of unpleasant and disturbing noise in your life. God will put an end to that disturbing noise you have been hearing. That noise in your marriage, family, career and business that has not been allowing you sleep soundly, God will reduce to a whisper today. You will no longer hear those upsetting winds and waves. In other words, it will be a miracle the way that problem will disappear from your life. Like it happened to the disciples, one minute all they could hear was a violent wind threatening their boat and their very lives, before they knew what was happening, the Prince of Peace had taken control and the atmosphere had changed. When the Prince of Peace took charge, all the disciples could hear was a very gentle breeze that could even soothe a baby to sleep (Luke 8: 22-24). This will be your portion in Jesus mighty name. AMEN!
2. A time when God makes your enemies to live at peace with you (Proverbs 16: 7). In a season of harvest, the favour of God is mighty upon your life. God is pleased with you and so He makes the very people that had been persecuting you, troubling you and giving you a hard time, to be the same people that will now favour you and bless you. Your enemies become those God uses to fight your case. Your enemies become those God uses to bless you. Your boss or that colleague in your office that had been on your case shouting remove him, sack him, terminate his employment is now the one recommending you for a promotion. Things start working in your favour because the Lord shines His face on you, He looks towards your direction, He looks towards your situation and gives you peace (Numbers 6:25-26). I pray the Lord will shine His face on you so you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of peace.
3. A time when God steps in to fight your battles. Ecclesiastes 3:8 talking about the different seasons in life says there is a time for war and a time for peace. In a time of harvest of peace, God gives you victory and peace from the battles of life you have been facing. Have you been surrounded by all kinds of battles? Have all manner of wars been waged against you like it happened to David (1 Kings 5:3)?
Life indeed is a battlefield. All kinds of darts and arrows are thrown on the battlefield of life. Ezekiel 5:16 mentions the deadly and destructive arrow of famine. Psalm 11:2 informs us of how the wicked hide in the shadows or in the dark to shoot their arrows at the righteous or upright. Jeremiah 9:8 makes us to understand that for some wicked people, the arrow they use against others is their mouth. With their mouth they can destroy and ruin lives. With their mouth they can release negative pronouncements, curses and terrible lies to destroy a person’s reputation and destiny.
Sometimes, we get knocked down by these arrows. For some people, because of these evil arrows, you have been going through a health battle, at the same time, there’s a major financial and marital battle you have been grappling with. Today, the Lord will remove every evil arrow that has entered any part of your body and your life and taken away your peace. God is giving you peace on all sides and putting an end to every evil occurence. You are now a winner no longer a loser. You will begin to overcome where you had failed before. You are being empowered to face and overcome enemies much bigger and stronger than you (2 Chronicles 20: 1-5, 15 and 17).
You will also win battles in your mind another place where battles are launched against us. You will begin to conquer from your mind and pull down those strongholds in your mind; those evil thoughts that have held you captive, those evil thoughts that had been limiting you (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Why will all these good things happen to you? Because God has brought you into a harvest of peace. You shall harvest peace in every area of your life. The wall of every area of your life will be surrounded by peace no more by troubles and battles (Psalm 122:7).
4. A time when a pressing need in your life is met. In this season, God settles you and removes the cause of anxiety in your life. When there is a pressing need in our lives, anxiety and worry easily find their way into our heart. Some people start to fret all over the place. Some can’t sleep and eat properly because of this pressing need. In John 20:19, we see that after Jesus was crucified, fear and anxiety had taken over his disciples heart. What was their pressing need at this time? They badly needed SECURITY. They needed PROTECTION from the Jews. That was all they were thinking about at this time. Their master had been taken and they weren’t sure what next would happen to them. They had locked themselves up in a room as a protection measure but even with that they were trembling with fear. Jesus came to calm their troubled heart with these comforting words “Peace be with you!”
When there is a serious pressing need in our life, all other needs become of little or no consequence. Let’s take for example a single lady who has just had an accident and is presently lying on a hospital bed. At this stage in her life, she needs God’s healing power at work in her life more than anything. Though she is single, it isn’t marriage that is the pressing need in her life at that moment but healing. Until she is healed, until something happens to get her out of that hospital bed, you will discover that most of her thoughts, most of her prayers centre and revolve round healing.
For every one of us, we have a pressing need in our life; a situation that if God doesn’t immediatedly step in and intervene, you could enter into a lot of trouble, or you could be put to shame, or it will bring so much pain and sorrow to you.
Yes, your heart has been troubled and disturbed because of a particular need and situation in your life. Jehovah Shalom is taking over all those pressing needs in your life. The Lord of peace is saturating your heart with His peace. All that agitation that has been going on in your heart is being replaced with the peace of God (Philippians 4:7).
5. A time when God gives you grace to cope with the thorns of life. In Isaiah 43:2, God makes it clear that there will be waters and rivers to pass through; there will be storms to face in life. But even in the storm, He will be there with us. The reality of this scripture is that sometimes in life, God won’t still the storm. What He does is to give you an unusual kind of peace in the midst of the storm. The waters are raging, everything seems to be going haywire but you are at rest; you have a peace that transcends human understanding (Philippians 4:7). People can’t understand it. They can’t understand why and how you can be fruitful, successful and relevant to the kingdom of God when there seems to be so much crisis around you. People can’t understand why and how you can walk around comfortably when there is a thorn piercing your body, health, finances, marriage and ministry. Paul had a piercing thorn in his life but God never removed the thorn in Paul’s flesh. This thorn gave Paul a great deal of concern that was why he prayed seriously about it. But even though that thorn was never removed, even though that situation never changed, God gave him peace concerning that situation. It was no longer a source of fear, worry or anxiety and it didn’t in anyway affect him from fulfilling God’s purpose for His life.
In our world today, there are so many thorns all over the place. Terrorists have become a major thorn in our day. We are facing so many thorns; so many unpleasant situations. But when God brings you into your harvest of peace, you can’t be stopped by any thorn. Even though there is a thorn, you can still worship and rejoice in your Maker. Even though there is a thorn, you can still go to bed without having to take sleeping pills (Psalm 3:5, Pslam 4:8). Even though there is a thorn, your mind is stayed and fixed on God because you know He will come through for you (Isaiah 26:3).
With all that is happening today in our individual lives, families, country and even worldwide, more than anything, we need PEACE. Acts 9:31 tells us that after the early church went through a time of persecution, God made the church enjoy a time of peace. God did it before, God is doing it again, God is doing it NOW! He is giving peace to His people.
To receive and enjoy this peace, you have to fix your eyes firmly on JESUS, the Prince of Peace not on what is happening in your life, not on what you can hear on the news. We live in times when if you are not holding tightly to the Prince of Peace, you can’t withstand and overcome these perilious times.
Start daily taking close walks with the Prince of Peace and these things will surely happen in your life:
That storm you have been going through will be stilled to a whisper.
Your enemies and persecutors will start doing things to favour you.
God will take over every battle of your life.
The pressing need in your life shall be met and become a thing of the past, and
The Lord will envelope you with a peace that passes human understanding to victoriously face any situation life brings your way.
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