On the way home from dropping my boys at school, I turned on the local Christian Radio station. Pastor Charles Stanley was preaching a sermon titled "Wisdom in the midst of trials"
While listening to this message, I was reminded that God uses trials to purify us from sin and to teach us to trust Him.
He also uses trials so that we can learn & encourage others who are or will be going through similar hardships and trials that this life brings.
2 Corinthians 1:4
who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God
This sermon couldn't have come at a more appropriate time in my life. It seems lately, the evil one who comes to kill, steal, and destroy, has been whispering many vile lies into my ear. Causing me doubt and ask questions. Most of which I already know the answers to..... He is the master of confusion and deception. He is the Persecutor of the Saints. The only way to defeat him is to combat his lies with God's TRUTH, His Holy word!
While we are in the midst of our trial, we have a choice. We can resist the trial by becoming bitter, resentful, and angry with God, and everyone in the world. Or we can choose to submit.
If we choose to resist...what gain is there? If we submit and TRUST God's promises, we will know that through our trials He will produce endurance in us. We also know that we will become more Christ like. We know God will only keep us in the fire long enough to burn the dross away.
It reminded me of a time long ago in church,singing the song "Refiner's Fire", and having the Pastor explain what a silversmith does when He is refining silver, and how he knows when the silver is refined.
Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.
Zechariah 13:9 And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say. 'They are my people, and they will say ' The Lord is my God."
I was delighted to have found the story I had been told, by doing a Google search!
It's comforting to know that The Lord's goal isn't to destroy or defeat us, but to TRANSFORM us. He isn't PUNISHING us, He is cleansing us. His desire is for us to be transformed into the likeness of His Son. That we would be pure and shiny, gleaming with HIS reflection! We all will be put through the furnace many times while on this earth.
Things to remember while facing a trial
- God is in control of the duration and intensity of our trials.
- He has a SPECIFIC purpose for the trial we are facing.
- Trials will benefit us if we respond in FAITH
- God is equipping us to be able to minister to others who are, or will be, facing similar trials.
- God is transforming us through this trial into the image of His Son.
- God will walk us through this trial. We will not be alone.
- We must have a right perspective and rejoice in knowing God has a hold of us in this trial, and it will be for our good in the end.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say "Rejoice!"
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. Because God has said " Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."
"teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world"
God doesn't want to injure us, He knows better than we do just how long, long enough is. How we respond is up to us, and I don't know about you, but I would much rather cling to God's word and His promises. Than to allow the Evil one to have his way with me. I am not happy that I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the midst of grieving my Father, but I will REJOICE, in opportunity to have my faith grown. To be purified as gold by THE refiner. I know God has many things He wants to teach me through this, and I long to be open to them and courageous to face them!
I hope this blesses you as much as it has blessed me.
Blessings! <3 Paula