Have you ever had one of those moments where you realized that you’ve totally misunderstood something God told you?
I’ll never forget last year when I was praying over my plans for loved+blessed and I clearly felt the Lord whisper to me the word “Yield”. I heard it clearly and wanted to obey. My first thought was yielding to His direction, to His Will. I thought about yellow lights and traffic signs where yielding means to slow down, move with caution and give way to someone else. In my eagerness to be obedient I immediately slowed down my plans, literally folding up the piece of paper I had written them on and saying, “Yes Lord, I’ll yield.” For the next six months I waited.
I kept doing what I was doing, taking small steps forward, but not making any major decisions because I was yielding, surrendering, waiting on the Lord to make the next move.
But, as I often do, I later realized that I had only acknowledged part of that word; the part that means surrender. That was my mistake. Maybe I focused on the surrender part so much, because sometimes it’s easier to slow down and wait on the Lord, than it is to keep pushing and persevering under tough circumstances. There is a relief that comes from convincing yourself that you’re waiting on Him, instead of accepting that His Will is that you seek His guidance while you KEEP PUSHING AHEAD.
I’ve realized that that season of yielding was becoming my excuse to stop…I had started to fall into a “why try” frame of mind. Yielding had become my validation for giving up. But then, one morning, by God’s grace, I was lead to Jeremiah 17:7-8.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the LORD,
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
— Jeremiah 17:7-8
That’s when it hit me. Yielding is not stopping. Yes, yielding is surrender, it is relinquishing your control and humbling yourself; but it’s also bearing fruit as a result of cultivation.
The word yield also means to produce a profit. As the words of Jeremiah washed over me, I realized I had totally misunderstood what God was telling me. I had heard what I wanted to hear, because it was easier to accept that He wanted me to stop, to give up, rather than to persevere through the drought and continue to yield fruit.
In telling me to yield, He was telling me to trust Him, hope in Him, to not give up when the hard times (the heat) comes; not to be anxious when it seemed like there was nothing left, when my hope was running low (in the year of drought) and not to stop bearing fruit (yielding fruit).
“He wants me to yield more fruit, not yield to my fears.
The Matthew Henry commentary sums it up nicely by saying, we must not “misplace our confidence in the day of distress.” When things get hard, God wants us to yield to Him, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop what we’re doing when we know that what we’re doing is for His Glory!
So I’m going to encourage you with the words I used to encourage myself…when the hard times come, don’t stop bearing fruit. Never stop doing good. God is still with you, even when you’ve tried your best and things aren’t working out. God is still with you, even when you’re feeling discouraged about something that’s happened to you or your family. God is still with you, even when you’re tired and worn out. When you yield to Him, He will help you yield more fruit.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. — Galatians 6:9
Great blessings come from yielding and trusting in God’s faithfulness, no matter what a situation may look like. What we yield, the good fruit we produce, is a direct result of our focus on putting our hope in God.
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Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.