KEYWORDS: affliction, time, lord, spirit, love

Comfort in Affliction, Part 2

Karen Zerby

The Garden of Affliction

By MariaMaria #610 CM/FM 3396 3/01

Dear Family,

1. In Part 1 of this series of jewels on healing, the Lord told us how He sees it when we're afflicted‚ and how He wants us to look at it. He also gave very beautiful encouragement and comfort that we can claim during our times of sickness.

2. In Part 2 I'll share with you more of the beautiful jewels the Lord has given on the subject of the good fruit that is borne through affliction—not just for the one who is sick, but for everyone! As you'll see when you read these, in the Lord's eyes it's a very precious, priceless experience. It's difficult to endure, and He knows and understands that. But the very desperation that it brings about in our lives is a great part of the wonderful fruit He's looking for when He allows us to suffer from an affliction or illness.

3. Most of these messages were received for individuals, but I think you'll find that many of them are applicable to all of us. Please do take the time to hear from our sweet Husband about your particular affliction and why He's allowed it, and what good fruit He's bringing out of it in your life, and continue to ask Him about it regularly, for as long as the affliction lasts. I guarantee that you'll come away feeling better, comforted, and with renewed strength to fight and hang on until relief arrives. I love you. You're in my prayers!

Yours always, Mama

The Garden of Affliction

4. We asked the Lord, "Why do some people have so many sicknesses and serious afflictions? Often we think it's because the Lord is working in their lives or it's to keep them close to Him or it's a special touch of His love. But the Lord works in others' lives without them having to endure sickness. Those who undergo the afflictions aren't necessarily in a worse state than the others who don't have afflictions or sickness; the Lord has simply chosen to work that way in their lives. But why does the Lord work in the lives of some with afflictions, and then seemingly accomplish the same purpose in the lives of others through means that seem easier to endure?"

5. (Jesus speaking:) Ah, the mystery of affliction! The mystery of why I bring affliction into the life of one of My children and not another. The mystery of why affliction is given to one of My children to accomplish a certain purpose, and why it seems I give a smaller measure of trials and tests to another in order to accomplish the same end result. To many, My hand seems to lie heavy on one and may even be deemed as "undeserving‚" with a certain harshness to My touch. And yet others bear not affliction and seem the sweeter still.

6. These questions have remained on the lips and in the hearts of My children throughout all ages. So many questions, so many ponderings, so much searching with the natural mind trying to probe the mind of God, the mind of Infinite Wisdom and Love.

7. And yet these questions spring forth not from sin, but simply from seeing with the eyes of the natural man, the carnal mind‚ and not with the eyes of the spirit. I do not condemn or judge you for this‚ because you desire and need to know and understand these things. To you, My loves, who seek Me and love Me and desire to know Me and My ways intimately‚ I bare My heart. I open the door of affliction before you, so you may gaze into the beauty of her garden.

8. So many of My children see the garden of affliction as a garden of languishing, a garden of sorrow, a garden in which many fear to tread. They see the ground as harsh and rocky‚ and wince at the pain it will inflict on them or their loved ones. They do not see that I know the breadth, depth, and height of this garden. I know its every corner, for I hold the master keys to this garden, given to no other. But, My inquiring ones, My loves, I want you to look through this doorway not with carnal eyes but with the eyes of the spirit. Only then will you see into this garden clearly. Only then will your eyes feast upon what I see, and only then will your mind understand as I understand.

9. For I‚ your Husband and Lover, dwell in a very special way in this garden‚ because this garden is My secret garden. It is secret in the sense of being an intimate hideaway, where only the two of us spend time together and commune heart to heart, surrounded by beauty. It is not a secret, but rather a secret garden, one like your movies have portrayed—a place of beauty hidden from the world, discovered by only one person or a small group of people, which becomes very special to them.

10. It is a garden close to My heart. And when I choose to carry one of My brides through the doorway and over the threshold into this garden, I pick her up and carry her with the greatest of tenderness, wisdom, love, and infinite foresight.

11. Here in this garden is the soil rich, and from this soil of affliction do the costliest‚ choicest, and rarest of flowers grow—moonflowers telling of your times spent with Me in the night seasons, orchids of rare beauty bearing the fragrance of the crushing to your earthly form, and water lilies which spring forth from your tears. Here is affliction swallowed up in victory—the victory of spirit that springs forth from time spent in this garden.

12. I carry My bride not to lay her upon a patch of stony, harsh ground, but to lay her on the choicest of spots, the very softest of grass. In the spirit, this garden is coveted and of great value. Here is where your spirit flourishes, grows‚ and deepens in the greatest magnitude! This magnitude will never be fully manifested in your earthly body‚ and your earthly frame and character will never fully bear witness to those around you of your time spent in this garden. Only My bride and I know of this time, this deepening, this great bond opened and sealed forever between us through this time spent together.

13. Many of My children‚ and those of the world‚ see this garden bearing not the light of the warm sun to brighten its day; instead this garden seems to be shrouded in darkness, and they would that the key to this garden be forever hidden or thrown away, that some other way be found, some other means be found less painful to the flesh whereby character and spirit are formed and deepened and nurtured. They see not with My eyes or the eyes of the spirit. But if they were to gaze carefully upon it through the eyes of the spirit and with the eyes of faith, they would see that this garden is bathed in the all–knowing light of Heaven‚ the light of growth and true beauty.

14. Yes, wonderful graces grow from affliction which others are able to see—the gifts of greater compassion for others, and tenderness‚ sympathy and longsuffering. But I work an even greater work through affliction, below the surface and unseen by the eyes of man, within the heart and spirit of each one of My brides who yields and surrenders to the warm, soft touch of affliction.

15. Yes, I call it "soft," whereas you may call it "harsh." This is where you see not as I see, and this is where you see not as you once knew it to be. For from before the foundations of the world, your spirit communed with Me, and together we chose your destiny for your time on Earth‚ and whether or not the cup of affliction would be brought into your life on Earth. But this decision, this choice on your part whether you would drink of the cup of affliction, was for a specific purpose—and always based on the well being and growth of your spirit, and not out of concern for your earthly body and frame. In the world of the spirit, your earthly form is but a shell and of little consequence when compared to the measure and worth of your spirit and its growth.

16. Sometimes the purpose of affliction is plainly realized and seen on Earth, while other times the purpose of affliction while on Earth is to prepare your spirit and character for the next life and all that will be before you in the worlds to come. This is why you cannot judge with the mind of man and with the eyes and senses of the flesh. On the surface, it may seem that the same ends are accomplished in one of My children by serving them the cup of affliction, while another is given but a teaspoon bearing not the strong liquid of affliction but the smoother, sweeter liquid of smaller tests and trials.

17. But your earthly eyes see only in part, and this is why you cannot judge from what you see and from what your senses seem to tell you. Your part, My loves, is to trust that I work a great work within each of My precious brides, My forever loves—a work which will only be partially realized on Earth, and thus the depth and spiritual growth gained will only be partially manifested on Earth.

18. You must simply trust Me in this, My loves. Trust Me for your life, should I hand you the cup of affliction, and trust Me when you gaze upon your loved ones, your mates, your brothers and sisters when they have been handed the cup of affliction. Trust Me and praise Me and love Me all the more when you see Me pick up one of My brides and carry her through the door into the garden of affliction. Trust Me and pray fervently that My greater purposes will be established and wrought in the heart and spirit of each one. (End of message from Jesus.)

A Difference in Rewards

And Blessings?

19. (Mama:) Reading the Lord's beautiful words of comfort and encouragement, it might almost sound like those who undergo affliction are more blessed than those who don't. We asked the Lord to explain more about the many blessings available to those who are afflicted and why there seemed to be a difference from those who are healthy.

20. (Jesus speaking:) You cannot see with My eyes or understand things fully there on Earth. If you weigh these promises with your physical, carnal understanding and try to make the scales balance, they never will. But I want to assure and comfort you that when you come Here, to My Heavenly Kingdom, and are able to see as I have seen all along, it will all be clear to you, and just and fair, and you will rejoice at My wisdom, omnipotence and omniscience.

21. Do not compare, My loves. Do not complain or bemoan the lot you have been given in life, for you had a part in choosing it. And your choices there on Earth complete the picture. But through all that you go through, because you love Me, and when you do your best for Me‚ you grow in spirit, and you store up for yourselves eternal rewards and spiritual beauty. Nothing is wasted; nothing is in vain. Every experience adds to your spiritual growth and progress, if you will let it.

22. Returning to the very special experience of affliction, those who are healthy might wonder why I give it such prominence. Why cannot they also grow in those special ways? Let Me give you a momentary glimpse of what those who suffer long–term or debilitating afflictions endure.

23. When you are having a severe trial, it's difficult to endure. But if you stop to think about it and you let Me comfort you‚ you know that your life will go on and change, and that things won't always be like that. Your choices affect the outcome, other people's choices affect the outcome, and even though sometimes My highest will goes through what you might feel is the most difficult of circumstances, you do have the option to choose other paths which are less difficult in the short term, although less profitable in the long term. In many ways‚ you yourself determine those circumstances.

24. When someone is sick‚ they have no control over those circumstances. Yes, they can take painkillers or they can undergo operations, but ultimately they must choose to trust Me. Every day they wake up with those circumstances‚ and every night they go to bed with those circumstances. It affects everything they do—their freedom of movement or mobility, their plans for the future‚ their interactions with others, and on and on the list goes. When it is a serious affliction, they know there is a possibility that they will have it for the remainder of their life on Earth. In some cases, they know that there's a good possibility that the affliction will play a part in the end of their life on Earth. Their times are still in My hand, but they know they might not have as long as others do.

25. All of these factors contribute to the desperation, the degree of surrender, the degree of trust, the closeness to Me, the breaking, the purging, the refining process which brings about the most precious things of the spirit. The cross to bear is heavy for those who are afflicted, but with it come great rewards. Do not begrudge them this high honor, for they have earned it through their daily suffering. Of course, they too have the choice how much they will get out of it, how much they will grow through it, and each person is different. But this is the opportunity that is available to them. (End of message from Jesus)

Many Reasons for Afflictions

26. (Jesus speaking:) There are many reasons why I allow afflictions. The reasons why I allow afflictions, and the lessons and beauty and blessings I want to give you through them, are almost as varied as the afflictions themselves. That's why it's vital to ask Me right away what I want to show you through an affliction, why I've allowed it in your life, and what you should do to rise above or claim the victory in each situation.

27. Sometimes the cause might be physical—something in your diet or health habits that I want to bring to your attention—and allowing you to suffer affliction calls your attention to it and forces you to change. Sometimes you might need a time of rest—either physically, spiritually, or both. Allowing you to have an affliction makes it impossible for you to do anything else, and so you rest.

Text box:

28. Question: Lord, we do rest when we're sick and confined to bed, but sometimes it doesn't feel very restful! Can You please explain more about the type of rest we get?

29. (Jesus speaking:) You wonder what I mean when I say that sometimes I give you afflictions to help you rest—for if you're very sick or in pain, it's often more difficult than usual to sleep or get any rest. But not all afflictions are like that. When you sprain your foot, for example, you can't go out and around as much‚ and it offers more opportunity to rest in Me. When you have a cold‚ sometimes all you feel like doing is lying in bed.

30. There are times when I know you need that time to stop—even if you don't feel it's so restful—and reflect, and also catch up on your sleep or times of peaceful resting as you recover. Sometimes I just want you to cease from your normal activities so that I have a chance to give you a clearer perspective on things‚ and when you have gained that, you go on to be more fruitful and happier than ever.

31. So even if you don't "feel" like your affliction is particularly restful, maybe it's the rest in spirit that I'm after, or the physical rest as you recover, or the change from your normal activities and pace that I know you need in order to prevent something much worse. In each case, as you ask Me, I'll explain it to you and show you what you needed particularly, or why I allowed it, and then you can concentrate on getting the most out of it. (End of message from Jesus.)

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32. Sometimes there's something out of alignment in the spiritual realm that needs to be corrected—something in your heart that's not right or that needs to be corrected or adjusted. The spiritual affects the physical, and if you're not under the shelter of My wings and My full protection, that's also sometimes the reason for an affliction coming on. Sometimes it's an outright attack of the Enemy‚ even if you are in My perfect will and right with Me, which I allow to teach you to fight, to stir you up in the spirit‚ or to strengthen you in some area.

33. Sometimes I just need to slow you down, so I use affliction. Sometimes I allow affliction to bring to your attention a much bigger problem‚ or to allow you the opportunity to gain a big victory in some area—such as more unity in your Home‚ more honesty and openness with others, more prayerfulness, etc. Sometimes I allow you to suffer a small affliction so that you might be more moved to pray for those who are desperate for your prayers for their much larger afflictions.

34. Sometimes I use affliction to humble you. Sometimes I use it to give you more compassion, understanding, or brokenness. Sometimes I allow it to keep you from moving forward in a direction that I know would lead to no good. Sometimes I just want to spend some special one-on-one time with you. Sometimes I know that you simply need a break from your normal routine, a chance to step back and see things from a different perspective, and the only way you'll step back is if you're forced to.

35. This is only the beginning of the list. There are many, many reasons—each one particular to the situation. Many times the reason might be a combination of these. The only way to know is to stop and ask Me. And don't wait to ask Me until you realize that you're not getting better! Stop and ask Me right away! Sometimes the affliction might be short-lived, but if you stop and ask Me about it at the beginning‚ you can get so much from it; you'll save yourself from something worse down the line, because you will get the point easily and quickly.

36. In any and all cases, hearing from Me about the situation will give you comfort and faith. It will help you to see that I have a purpose and a plan. Even if it's simply an attack of the Enemy, I will give you My promises, and you'll be reminded and encouraged that you can rise above, that you don't have to give in to the attack! Often, too, even if it is an attack of the Enemy, there are things that I can help you learn through it—special treasures of the spirit that you wouldn't gain any other way, which you have the chance to find and collect and keep from this time of affliction. There is always good that I want to bring out of it, always something special I can give you to keep and treasure from this time.

37. Hearing from Me about the affliction will also give you faith to do whatever is needed to overcome it and even the circumstances. There might be times I want you to claim My miraculous healing, because I know the sickness doesn't have to run its natural course. There might be times when there's something you need to do—confessing or cleansing your heart before Me or before others, or uniting in prayer for something specific. There are times you need to fight the Enemy, resist the attack, and go forward in faith. There are times when you need to rest. There are times when I want you to spend more time with Me, and until you stop and lay it all aside and spend that time with Me, I can't heal you.

38. There are times when I want the whole Home to stir themselves up to pray for you, and in that case, I would wait on that to bring the healing. In other cases, I might tell you to simply wait on Me, rest in Me, do what you can, and then be patient. Other times I might show you something physical that you can do—eating certain foods, changing something in your diet or living habits, getting more exercise, getting more rest, or even something very specific such as taking a certain vitamin, doing a certain exercise, calling a certain person for advice, etc. In every situation, I will show you what you must do in order to take hold of My healing, My blessing, My deliverance, My grace and My strength.

39. No matter what the reasons, I allow afflictions in love. Even if I allow one as a chastisement, I still want to love and comfort you through it. And many times the affliction isn't a chastisement or punishment at all; perhaps I just want to take some time with you‚ or I have something else special that I want to give you, or some greater good that I want to bring out of it.

40. If you allow yourself to reason things out in your mind, you'll often come to the wrong conclusions and will wind up being discouraged, or berating yourself for something that I don't condemn you for and that you shouldn't condemn yourself for. The Enemy is always right there, the accuser of the saints, to remind you of why you deserve this, of all the evil and out-of-it things you've done, and why you don't even deserve to ask for My healing‚ much less rise above your affliction or fight against the condemnation. He will try to convince you that it's only fair to suffer through it, that there's nothing you can do, and that you might as well just wait it out.

41. That is so contrary to My plan! Even if it is something that I'm trying to get through to you about, I'll give you My hope, peace‚ and promise of blessing through it. I will give you treasures of the spirit that will leave you rejoicing that I allowed you to have such an experience. I would love to turn each moment of affliction into a moment of love with Me‚ a moment of comfort and enjoying My presence‚ a moment of prayer for others, or of praise and thankfulness for the many blessings I give you and for My promise of healing which is on its way.

42. Even if it's an affliction which takes time to heal, or a long-term battle that you have to fight, if you're coming to Me regularly, daily, I'll continue to give you new things that you can learn from it—new promises to hang on to‚ new lessons that will always be with you‚ new strength of spirit to keep holding on. I have it all to give to you, My precious loves. So take the time to come to Me and ask Me about it. Hang on to My Words of promise, and don't let the Enemy drag you down with discouragement. Ask Me your questions, tell Me your fears, and let Me wipe away every trace of fear or condemnation with My loving and gentle fingers. I will make it right, all right. All you have to do is hear from Me. (End of message from Jesus)

Text box:

(Excerpts of a tape Mama made for a couple of staff members who were sick:)

Hi, dear ones,

43. I'm making this tape for both of you together because I have basically the same things to say to each of you. Nothing big or bad—just good. I wanted to tell you how very much we've been praying for you and how sad we are that you've been so sick.

44. I can only imagine how difficult this has been. From what we've heard about the symptoms, it sounds very debilitating and exhausting, and just plain miserable. So, needless to say, we've been praying desperately for you, that the Lord would raise you up quickly. It seems like it's taken a long time, but the Lord knows and He has His timetable.

45. Just like all the other things that we usually think take too long, the Lord later shows us that it was right on His timetable and His schedule. But you poor things, I'm really, really sorry. It makes us hurt to think of how difficult it's been for both of you. On top of that, it must be very discouraging, because that seems to be one of the Enemy's main tactics with sickness. What sometimes is almost worse or just as bad as the sickness itself is wondering when it's ever going to end‚ why you had to get sick‚ and dealing with all the other emotions that come along with it.

46. But it really helps to know that Jesus understands‚ doesn't it?—That He went through a lot of sickness in His life, and He must have gone through the very worst ones that we could ever imagine‚ just so He would understand the whole range of sickness, disease, and health problems that His creations have. I guess in some ways we have to go through these different things too for the sake of those to whom we not only minister now, but will minister to much more in the future.

47. When I once asked the Lord why we had to go through all these things—I was talking specifically about myself, about my eyes and my toes and my teeth and my cysts and all those things—He said, "It's part of the battles of life‚ and everyone has to have them." "Moreover‚" He said, "it helps you to relate to the people in the System who have so many afflictions and who don't just get healed at the drop of a hat." He said, "If I raised you up immediately when you got sick and healed you of all your afflictions, you'd never understand; you'd never be able to relate or have compassion on the poor folks in the System that you need to minister to."

48. Anyway, we really have been praying for you‚ and I hope you're getting our greetings or good wishes passed on from the others that we've mentioned it to. While you're recovering, don't get into things too quickly; really be prayerful and ask the Lord what you should do and when so that you don't overdo. Please take it easy so you don't have a relapse or come down with other things because your body is weakened from the sickness. Please go slow and pray and ask the Lord exactly what you should do and when.

49. Lord, bless them both and continue to strengthen them and speed their recovery and recuperation, and thank You, precious Husband, for the good things that You've brought out of this sickness. Thank You for how You're bringing them through, and You will heal them completely in Your time. Help them not to be discouraged, but to rest in Your arms and take advantage of this time to rest and be refilled.

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The Gift of Affliction

50. (Dad speaking:) The Lord has opened to you His good treasure. It might not look that way to you right now, but you're one of His children who has sincerely asked in faith for whatever He wanted to do in your life; you opened the door and gave Him full sway, and He's giving you a priceless gift in this affliction.

51. Don't worry, it's not going to last forever. But while it does last, ask the Lord to help you see it as a priceless‚ wonderful gift. He values you and your love so much. He values your closeness to Him and your intimacy with Him, your times of sweet lovemaking, more than He values anything you could accomplish for Him.

52. So He has seen fit to bless you with these special times of loving, of hearing His voice, of sitting at His feet where you're just helpless and you can't do anything else. All you can do is cry out to Him for the grace and peace to keep your mind from spinning. It's in those times that He's working in your heart and making you what He needs you to be.

53. Praise Him for this wonderful gift of affliction! Yes, the Enemy tries to get in and attack you and make it hard for you to even pray or listen to the Lord, but just rebuke him. Punch him back! If you can't concentrate enough to hear from the Lord, then simply rest in His arms and feel His love. Feel His arms around you. Every time you're tempted to feel discouraged or useless, punch the Devil back by praising the Lord and thanking Him for this sweet gift of time with Him. Praise Him for the honor of spending so much time with Him.

54. It will get better; the darkest hour is just before dawn. The Lord's not going to let you be a burden. You might feel that way right now, that you're not able to do much or even pull your own weight, but you are, in the spirit. You're praying and sucking and receiving what the Lord has for you, and that's the most important thing you could be doing right now.

55. Praise the Lord for this wonderful treasure; it really is beautiful in the spirit. It's a wonderful, priceless gift, a great honor that the Lord has seen fit to give you.

56. Sometimes we see things so differently from how the Lord sees them. There, in your frail, earthbound human flesh, you look at the gift of healing as the most precious gift that God could give. When you're so battered by affliction and you feel so weary, you think that the highest blessing, the highest honor God could give, would be the gift of complete healing and deliverance from whatever you feel is holding you down. But the Lord sees it so differently.

57. In this case, the Lord is giving you very great and precious gifts—the gift of weakness, the gift of affliction, the gift of complete dependence upon Him. Along with these gifts come many other gifts—the gift of humility, the gift of special times with Him. If you were strong you would be working, your mind would be focused on other things, you would be busy doing His work; but right now, He just wants you.

58. So don't let the Enemy get in and discourage you or condemn you. Don't let him tempt you to feel that you've made a mistake or sinned and brought this upon yourself, because it's a beautiful, wonderful gift from our sweet Jesus to you. Milk it for all it's worth, every moment you can, loving and receiving love from your wonderful Husband. Seize every opportunity to humble yourself before Him and receive His Words, His instruction.

59. And when you can't do anything else, rest in His arms and trust. That in itself is a wonderful gift from your heart to His, that you trust in His care and have set everything else aside, lying there quietly and peacefully‚ shutting out all the distractions or fears of the Enemy‚ and letting the Lord kiss you and hold you.

60. It's very precious to Him. It's just as precious to Him as if you were giving 24 hours a day in His service‚ which you are; but if you're not strong enough to do that in the physical, then simply lie down and rest. It means just as much to Him to receive your love when He knows you can't get up, that you can't put your love in action in the way you'd like. He values your love as well as your work.

61. When you're tempted to feel discouraged, ask the Lord to help you to see it as He sees it. He'll give you pictures and visions that will give you peace‚ and He will bring the gift of healing in His time. (End of message from Dad)

The Magic Wand

Of Spiritual Weaponry

62. (Jesus speaking:) During this time of affliction, I'm giving you the opportunity to become adept and proficient in your use of the magic wand of My Spirit. Do you know what the magic wand is? It's a bit of a mystery to you now, kind of like the elixir of love. It's the power of My Spirit, and you always have it available to you. It's there for you through prayer, through the power of the Word, through your times of communion with Me. But when you're physically weak, you hang on to the wand tighter, and it becomes all the more powerful.

63. The wand represents the power that is generated when you pray for others. Do the witnessers need an extra boost? Do the children need strengthening in some area? Does someone in your Home need encouragement? Wave your wand, and it will be done!

64. This magic wand also represents the power which is generated by the spiritual weapons that you have always available to you. Some people are more proficient in their use than others. But when you're sick and physically weaker than normal, it's a special opportunity to learn to use your wand more. There's not much else you can do. It's like the quote you've heard many times, "When you're weakest in the flesh, you're strongest in the spirit." It's only when you stop trying in your own strength that you realize how strong I really am. So it is with this wand. Now that you can't do much in the physical‚ you're forced to depend on your magic wand, and you will come to realize just how powerful it really is—both in supplying you with the comfort and healing that you need, as well as sending forth power to help others as you pray for them.

65. I know it's difficult to go through these afflictions. I weep with you. I hold you through the long nights. I never sleep. I'm always awake‚ right there by your side, ready to attend to your slightest whisper. When the pain is intense or the night is long, squeeze your wand tighter and let the power flow into you and revive you. When you think of something that you wish you could do or are reminded of someone who needs help, point your wand in that direction and watch Me take care of it for you. (End of message from Jesus.)

A Testimony

To the Lord's Power

66. (Jesus speaking:) I love the broken and desperate spirit that I see before Me—the open and receptive vessel that I now have in you. In your weakness and brokenness, you are truly a testimony to others of My power. They see and know how weak you are, how afflicted, how troubled, even how discouraged at times. Yet they also see how I strengthen you, and how‚ when it seems you can't walk one more step, I give you the boost of strength you need to get you through. (End of message from Jesus.)

It Gets Everyone Praying!

67. (Dad speaking:) I really understand, because I battled a lot with afflictions too, as you know. Sometimes the hardest part of enduring affliction for me was the humiliation—or worse yet, the condemnation. Here I was, one of God's prophets, and I had this affliction or that affliction, and so often the Family had to stop and take their time to pray for me. Oh, that was really difficult! But then the Lord and Mama would encourage me that it was good for everyone involved, and I'd relent and quit feeling sorry for myself and praise the Lord! Then I'd feel better. (End of message from Dad.)

68. (The following message was received for a man in our Home who was very sick—so sick that the Lord showed us that our Home needed to form a continual prayer vigil chain for him. Besides praying for him at meals and whenever we were together, each hour someone took 15 minutes of that hour to do vigil for him as well as for others of our dear Family who were sick or needed prayer for some reason.)

69. (Jesus speaking:) Don't worry about these many afflictions‚ because going through them and enduring and fighting and drawing closer to Me is only bearing more fruit in your life. And now your whole Home is benefiting greatly in getting to partake of this wonderful privilege of fighting the Enemy‚ claiming healing and victory, and it's bearing fruit in everyone's life.

70. Don't fret or think that it's taking so much of everyone's time, for this is time well spent. In obeying and doing this‚ each person is getting special quality time with Me‚ and in return, getting strengthened themselves. They will be more fit for the busy days ahead. This united vigil time will bring the whole Home closer together, as it's an important‚ privileged activity in the spirit that everyone is taking part in.

71. What greater work is there than spending time with Me in prayer? What could be more important than laying down your life and time for Me and the brethren? So through this, you're doing Me a favor! You're helping the whole Home spend extra time with Me. But I promise that I will greatly multiply and bless their efforts, because they're putting Me and My priority needs first. Didn't I go out and seek that one lost sheep? This is following My sample. I laid down My life for you, so each and every one of you ought to lay down your life for the brethren. (End of message from Jesus)

In Each Affliction

There's a Great Prize!

72. (Jesus speaking:) My sweet, sweet love! Each day you're becoming more beautiful‚ drawing closer to Me, radiating My Spirit!

73. You say, "How am I becoming more beautiful and radiant? I fight all these afflictions daily and it's a real weight to carry." Well, you know what? As you learn to fight them, there's beauty for ashes, there's joy in place of sorrow, there's real happiness. As you see Me answer the prayers for each affliction, you're drawing ever closer to Me and receiving more of My beauty.

74. Yes, this sickness is an attack of the Enemy, but I'm using it to draw you ever so close to Me. If you didn't have afflictions, you wouldn't be so desperate; it would be your own strength and beauty showing. But now it's My beauty that has come through testing and purging‚ and it's a much more valuable prize.

75. Did you know that in each affliction there's a great prize? There are great lessons learned through each one. I have a purpose for each affliction. Just ask Me, "Lord, what are You trying to show me?" All things do work together for good, so praise Me in each trial, in each affliction. This is the beautiful sample of My queen, who also suffers many afflictions, but who does so cheerfully and without complaint. You will see that as you thank Me in each affliction, it will be easier to bear.

76. Seek for that prize, that pearl that comes with the affliction. There is a purpose. Sometimes there are lessons in learning how to fight, how to trust, how to pray, how to praise, to call out for the help of others. There are so many lessons. And don't be afraid to be open and honest. Open your heart to those around you.

77. As you suffer much, you can also be of great understanding and compassion to others who suffer. When you're battling an affliction and turn to Me for help in prayer, also say a prayer for others. Pray for My queen, My king, for those with critical life-and-death conditions, for the health of others in your Home. Many will benefit from your prayers. And as you pray for these and thank Me for other afflictions that I have healed you from, you'll see that the burden of your own affliction will be so much easier to bear.

78. So don't despair or fear with every new affliction, but thank Me for the good health you do have. Seek Me in prayer and find the jewel. With each affliction comes testing, but that's also how I give you great victories. I promise you, I will not let you suffer more than you are able to bear. Remember to lift others up; so will your own burden get easier. (End of message from Jesus.)

Brokenness Brings Sweetness

And Greater Usefulness

79. (Jenny Lind speaking:) The sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts, and the most beautiful tunes come from the heart that is broken, the spirit that is humble, the life that has been tested and tried and crushed in the hands of the Great Musician. There are some songs that can only be sung once one has been through the depths, once one has felt so low, so weak, so helpless, so insufficient, and so incapable.

80. It's easy enough to sing songs and compose songs, to live life‚ and to trust Jesus when you don't feel the pain‚ when your heart hasn't been broken, when your body hasn't been crushed. But the songs from the heart of one who is trusting completely in their Lover are the masterpieces, the unforgettable tunes.

81. I was called the Swedish Nightingale—not because I was beautiful‚ not because of my voice, but because of my broken heart. I was called the Swedish Nightingale because I sang through my tears. I sang through my heartache. I sang through my disappointment. I sang through my despair. I sang through my pain.

82. When my life had no struggles, my songs didn't touch people. When I didn't feel the pain, my songs didn't reach into people's hearts. It was only after the pain, after the defeat, after the loss, after the brokenness, after the test, after I decided to sing through my tears, that my songs rang out and found a place deep in the hearts of others. As you sing your songs through the pain‚ through the struggle‚ through the seeming defeat‚ through the battles, you're touching the lives and hearts of others.

83. Your sweet songs of surrender, trust‚ and yieldedness come before the throne of Heaven. Jesus hears your songs of desperation and they are as sweet music to His ears. He sees your songs of yieldedness; they dance through the air and are beautiful to Him. He smells your songs of trust; their fragrance is sweeter than the sweetest perfume. Your songs of surrender, yieldedness, trust, and desperation come before the Lord's throne as gifts and tokens of your love for Him.

84. He knows that it's hard for you to sing, dear nightingale. He knows that your afflictions are the trying of your faith‚ and that's why He values and treasures your tunes of love. You are honored in the courts of Heaven. Your songs reach deep into your Lover's heart and He longs to hold you and kiss you and love you.

85. Just melt into His arms when you feel like fainting. Look into His eyes when you cannot look about you. Let Him touch your head when you find no relief. On His lips is the balm of healing, and as you lie in His arms, He'll kiss you.

86. He knows the pain. He knows the hurt. He knows that this cross is heavy to bear, but He will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able to endure. He uses this affliction in your life to keep you close to Him. He uses this affliction in your life to bring out the sweetness—the sweet songs of surrender that you sing to Him as a token of your love for Him.

87. You don't see all of the reasons why you're afflicted in such a monumental way, but it's because of your afflictions that you have such great faith. Your afflictions are what have kept you soft, warm, moldable, trusting and broken.

88. Some want these priceless gifts, but they're not willing to pay the price that goes with them. Some want the gifts of humility, desperation, dependence on the Lord, yieldedness, faith and trust and utter acceptance, but they aren't willing to go through the battles.

89. I wanted to be a world-famous singer, but at first I wasn't willing to pay the price. So my singing instructor broke my heart and helped me to pay the price. The price wasn't easy. I went through great turmoil and feelings of loss, but the end result was my heart's desire. I found my dream, but I didn't find it exactly the way that I would have imagined it.

90. The Lord does that with many of His children. If He gave you a choice as to whether you would endure an affliction, I'm sure that you wouldn't choose to go through with it. But He—in His great wisdom and foresight—has allowed this in your life. And although this may not be as you would have imagined it to be, the end result will be the desire of your heart.

91. You have smiled through the rain. You have sung through your tears. You have fought a good fight, and for this you are honored before your Lover. He loves your love songs. He sings both day and night of you‚ His lover, His nightingale who sings so sweetly. You have a special place in His heart‚ and there's not a moment that He doesn't see you. There's not a moment that He doesn't care for you. There's not a moment that He isn't touched with the feelings of your infirmity.

92. The storm will pass. The raging torrents will settle. The stormy winds will turn to stillness, and you—the one who has sung through the storm and found peace when others would find calamity and confusion—will be raised to everlasting honor. (End of message from Jenny Lind.)

Squeezing of the Honeycomb

93. (Jesus speaking: ) As the hand squeezes the honeycomb and out comes the honey, so am I squeezing you, and out comes the honey of your love for Me. It is high–grade honey, sweet and refined, pure and of finest quality.

94. I'm sorry for the pain My squeezes of love cause you‚ but these squeezes are only for a time. They shall soon pass, and then shall those about you eat of this delicious honey love that has come from My hand. They will know that My honeycomb has been with the Master. Only those who have been squeezed by the Master have such quality, such sweetness.

95. You please Me by praising Me‚ My honeycomb. I see your silent tears. I feel the intensity of your pain. Yet you praise Me, you smile‚ you walk in faith, trusting in Me, letting Me have My way and My will in your life. For this you will be blessed‚ My precious honeycomb.

96. Don't hesitate to come and spend time with Me to be renewed and strengthened. For not one minute you spend with Me will be wasted, but I will return an hundredfold to My beloved honeycomb.

97. Take the time you need to be with Me, for when you are weak, I am strong, and I can renew your strength so that you will mount up with wings of the eagle; so that you will run and not be weary, so that you will walk and not faint. I love you, My precious honeycomb. Your willingness to let Me squeeze you in such a fashion is a sign of great love which I hold dear to My heart. (End of message from Jesus.)

Affliction Brings You Closer to

Jesus and the Spirit

98. (Jesus speaking:) Through this experience you're getting to know the spirit world in a new and different way, drawing closer to Me and the Spirit. We're becoming one more each day. This is a priceless privilege that you could otherwise have missed. So count it a blessing! I rejoice to see you so much in love with Me, and how your love for Me is getting stronger every day. Our love will grow and blossom, and you will obtain greater riches than you ever have before! It's costing you much, you're paying a price, but oh, the rewards are so great and it will be a great testimony! For it is beauty that's coming forth out of ashes, and victory out of defeat!

99. You can look forward to each day! My grace is sufficient for you and My presence will go with you. Even in the night seasons I'm sending My helpers to assist you in ways you have not known before. So take comfort in My Word and promises, for I never fail to help you, and I am healing you! (End of message from Jesus.)

A Reminder That It's Got to Be Him!

100. (Jesus speaking: ) This is not a punishment, but rather a special time when we can spend extra time together. It's a special time that I wanted to give you so you might remember that I must do the work through you; you cannot do it in the arm of the flesh.

101. You can do your part to press in and apply yourself and handle the projects set before you‚ but ultimately it's My responsibility to see that they get done. I want to relieve you of feeling that you must try to do it. I will help you in your work‚ but you must take that special time with Me that I want and crave from you.

102. I allowed this to happen as a gentle reminder of My desire for you, which is far greater than any accomplishments you could give Me, any presents you could give Me through your service or your sacrifice. Although I value your service and all your work, I value you, My worker, even above your works, as I do all My children.

103. Although My children know they are saved by grace, they also try to justify themselves by works at times. This is not to say that they try to save themselves by their works, but that they try to establish their value by their works. But I have established their value already by dying for them, so that they might live forever with Me.

104. Take these quiet moments in My arms and be refreshed. This small affliction is given to you with much love‚ for I knew that you would immediately stop and ask Me about it‚ and thus would receive My Words of love and desire. (End of message from Jesus)

Made Stronger Through Weakness

105. (Jesus speaking: ) There are many reasons for sickness. As your Father David often said, I get a lot of mileage out of afflictions, working both in the life of the one who is sick and the ones around him or her.

106. One of the reasons I've allowed this is to remind you once again that you cannot do My work without My power. As this sickness has weakened you to where you have no energy to do anything, so you see what it's like if I were to withdraw My anointing and power.

107. Of your own self you can do nothing, just as you can do nothing now. So you must seek Me diligently before you do anything, not becoming familiar with your anointing or My power within you. You must seek Me fervently as you have during this sickness, that I might manifest My power fully through you. Lean fully on Me, that I might fully empower you.

108. This is a lesson that I must continually teach My children, for it is so easy for them to go running off in the energy of their own flesh to work‚ to accomplish, to do things. Or they utter a brief prayer before they begin, but still forge ahead as if they had to do it themselves.

109. I bring home this lesson to many through affliction, when they're in bed on their back and can only look up to Me. In those hours or days or weeks, I remind them that without Me they can do nothing, that their strength, competency and power is only from Me, and that through weakness they are made stronger. (End of message from Jesus.)

Quotes added in boxes, not taken from existing text:

Thank you for hanging on to Me so tightly. I love it when you squeeze My hand. As your loving Husband, I'm always by your side, looking into your eyes, checking to make sure that you're okay, and that I can do whatever you need to lighten your load. I hate to see you hurting and suffering. It tears My heart apart, for I know the pain. I know the questions it causes in your heart, the feelings of total helplessness, and even abandonment. My darling child, I'm holding on to you and will not suffer you to be tempted or tested with more than you can bear.

Sometimes afflictions come as a gift of My love‚ to bring you to a point where you can't do anything else but lie in My arms and rest in My bed; you can't think or move or talk or even pray. All you can do is relax and let Me comfort you and soothe you. It's a love gift to you. Even though it's difficult to see My reasoning behind the pain and discomfort, I'm using it to draw you ever so close to My bosom, where you can see and hear things of the spirit, and where I can spend close, intimate, personal time with you‚ and whisper My love and secrets of love to you.

As you suffer with Me‚ I will reward you with many beautiful gifts of My Spirit. You will become as a magic one, given many anointings from Me, with the special ability to command My magic wand.

This time that has been so difficult to bear and to understand is a time of reward and of blessing. I'm rewarding you openly and showing you My love, perhaps in ways which you may not understand fully now, but which will be evident to you as you begin to feel the power of the Spirit working and accomplishing what you could never have done before.

Each time you feel discouraged and feel that you're reaching your limit, stop, breathe deeply, and hold the wand tighter. As you hold it tight between your hands of faith‚ you will feel its warmth and life‚ and the power of the spirit that it holds to help and to heal.

(End of file.)