Most of you have seen the movie ‘The Color Purple’. I cannot think of anyone besides maybe young kids today who have not seen that movie. I could be wrong. Back in 2014, I was preparing a sermon to preach. I took a break because I needed some inspiration and for some reason I was drawn to this movie. So, my spouse and I started watching the movie. By the end of the movie we were both in tears of course. We have seen this movie dozens of times mind you, but it gets us every time. The interesting thing is God gave my spouse a revelation for me regarding the end of the movie. He gave me one too, but I am going to focus on the one He gave my spouse. Right after the movie, my spouse looked at me and said through tears, “Jackie, after you have suffered a while, God is going to fulfill every promise He’s made to you.” That revelation took me to 1 Peter 5:10 NKJV “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
For those of you that know the movie, you know that Celie’s suffering started when she was only a kid. From being molested by her stepfather and becoming pregnant and her babies being sold by her stepfather, to being sold to a man who beat her and called her ugly, losing the one person in the world who loved her dearly her sister Nettie due to Nettie rejecting Celie’s husbands advances, being treated as a slave and knowing your husband is in love with another woman (Shug Avery). We know how Celie’s story ends. It is almost like the revelation God gave my spouse. I can take it a step further. Her story ends like in the Book of Job. Everything she lost God gave it back to her.
I know ‘The Color Purple’ is only a movie but people suffer every single day like Celie. It might not be as drastic as Celie, but you are still suffering in your own way. The reason that revelation my spouse gave me back in 2014 is so relevant today is because I have suffered a great deal behind the scenes. Some of my sufferings was self-affliction by not listening to God. There have been many times I felt as though God had forgotten about me because I made mistakes. Or I was being punished because of missing the mark continuously.
Today, I see things so much clearer. The year of 2020 I consider is the year of perfect vision. I tried to be perfect and do everything others wanted me to do instead of listening to The Voice Within (Jesus Christ). I tried to reason with others when God was telling me, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14 NIV). I had become a people pleaser instead of a God pleaser. I allowed others to control me instead of the One who should have been controlling me. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 NIV). I lost focus that no one is perfect “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV).
Once I started praying and listening to The Voice Within (Jesus Christ), I realized that God was working out the details. He has not forgotten about me. Even in my lowest days, He’s been right there carrying me through the valley. Mountains that seemed too hard to climb, he has given me extra strength to climb. I can stand here today and say that I am now seeing that revelation from 2014 coming into fruition. It might not have happened on my time but remember God has His own time clock. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8 NIV).
I encourage you to know that after you have suffered a while, He will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. God is working out every single detail. From the smallest to the biggest. He is always working in the background even when we do not feel or see it. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV).
Your journey might not look like much right now but it’s okay. You’re under construction. Mansions take time to build.