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5 Steps to Harvesting During Hardship

Today we are talking all about how to harvest during hardship. I spoke about this in a message last year and came across it again recently. I thought it would be fitting for our blog post this week. Today we are gathering biblical encouragement on hardship from Jeremiah 29:10-14. Within this passage is one of the most famous verses Jeremiah 29:11. Many times we see this verse on a bumper sticker but we don’t realize the context of the hardship Israel  was experiencing when God spoke this  encouragement to them. 

This passage was spoken to the people of Israel during a season of exile. The people of Israel have been exiled from their homeland, even with some people still there. Those of them still there were defiant to how the Lord was calling them to live. Not only was this time tough but God told them this would be their new reality for 70 years before they would get to experience his promise. This passage in Jeremiah reveals 5 steps to focus on during a difficult season. 

The first step to harvesting in hardship is to begin with faith. Verse 10 shares, “when seventy years are completed for Babylon I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.” God has a promise on the other side or your hardship. My sophomore year of high school my mom passed away and as we sat in her hospital room my grandmother said “I know God would not bring us through this without something good on the other side.” It was true. The “good,” that “promise” comes out everyday as I get to share God’s faithfulness with people like you. God’s promise will prevail despite the present circumstances you see.

The second step is to remember God’s commitment. God reminds the people of Israel of who he is and his heart for them. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” God reminded them that he had a plan for them and that plan would not fail. When you are in a waiting season, a hard season, remember God’s commitment to bringing you a good thing. When we remember God is in control we can reap a harvest of his benefits in the process.

The third step is to pray. A simple but mighty step. Verse 12 says, “then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.” God hears our cry when we call on his name. He promises when we draw near to him that he will draw near to us. In the most intense time, this generation of Israelites is called to draw near in prayer. When we come to God with honest hearts he doesn’t just hear our voice but he listens and he delights in answering our call. 

Step 4 in harvesting during hardship is to seek God with all your heart. Verse 13 says “you will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God wants us to seek him with all that we are. God says that we will find him when we do this. He won’t hide from us, he won’t be a no show, but he will be found by us when we seek him with all that we are. God loves to be sought after by you and he finds joy in revealing himself to you as well. 

As God reveals himself he does what he does best, restore. The last step in harvesting during hardship is to receive restoration. Verse 14 shares, “ I will be found by you and I will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, declares the Lord and I will bring you back from the place from which I carried you into exile.”Receive the healing that comes your way, receive the guidance offered, receive the promise God has had waiting on you.  I think restoration is God’s favorite way to end a story. It is something that he does best. Bringing beauty to ashes, giving joy in hard circumstances, and reaping a harvest in hardship. Next time you enter into a difficult season, a waiting season, an unexpected season, remember God’s promise to you as you learn to harvest during hardship.  

xo, Scarlet