Tried with fire

Life is filled with moments of pain, sorrow, grief, and discomfort. There are days that our feelings scream out at the top of their lungs, trying to pull us down into a place of suffocation, defining us by our circumstances. Have you ever wondered why? Is there a purpose behind your trouble and your suffering? There is.

It’s through the fires of life that the external things in life burn up and the person we really are is revealed. There is a pure part of us created in the image of God and how we are raised, and all the circumstances of our past end up defining us because of our lack of truth, so the purest part of us is clouded over making our minds define us by the external instead of the inner being of who we are. Through these many trials we learn the truth of God if we cling to him in the hard times. Look to our example Jesus, who himself learnt obedience through the things He suffered and so should we (Hebrews 5:8).

Many time’s we want to change our circumstances and in doing so develop a corrupt mindset of thinking we are Christians for our well-being, but we are Christians to bring glory to God regardless of our situation. The book of Daniel gives us a great example of what we are to do when we are facing the trials of life. (Read Daniel 3:8-25) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego end up not bowing down to king Nebuchadnezzar because they have chosen to give their lives fully to God and to no one else. As a result of their confident faith and boldness in the Lord, the king gets angrier and commands the fire to be heated ten times hotter than normal & then he commands his men to throw them into the fiery furnace.

There is a valuable lesson to be learned in this scripture. Notice what they say to the king in Daniel 3:18. They say to the king “but even if He doesn’t (Save us), let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will worship the golden image which you have set up.” You can see their hearts in the words that flow from their lips (Luke 6:45). They know that God has the power and ability to save them from the fire, but even if He wouldn’t they would remain steadfast for His glorification.

Where was there focus? There focus wasn’t on how big of problem they were encountering but they were focused on how big their God is in the midst of the problem. They knew that if God was for them no one could stand against them (Romans 8:31), so they trusted him in the midst of adversary. Many of us tend to focus on the circumstance and determine the strength and power of God measured off of the circumstance. This is a mindset that needs to be changed by the truth through repentance (changing the way you think). The Spirit of God is always with us, there is no place you are or have been that He wasn’t with you in (Psalm 139:7-12).

Don’t fix your eyes on the struggle, fix your eyes on the one whose able to get you through the struggle and the only one who can give you peace in it all. For you to focus on the fire is to glorify it as being greater than God. Eyes on the problem is worry, eyes on Jesus is worship. (Hebrews 12:2)

Regardless of where you are today, know the promise of your Lord, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is with you in the trial and producing in you a greater glory through your steadfast faith in His faithfulness of taking care of you. (James 1:2-4) God doesn’t always take away the fire. Sometimes the heat gets turned up even hotter.  But know that in the middle of the fire when you are weak He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). It’s through these trials that we see that we don’t have the strength in ourselves to continue without Him (Zechariah 4:6).  Beloved, stand firm on the promise that Jesus is with you while you are surrounded by these flames and although it may seem that the flames are getting hotter and hotter He is with you through every moment of it. Consider it pure joy to be going through your trial for although the enemy attempts to use it for harm, by faith, God uses it for your benefit to build endurance and bring you to obedience. (Romans 8:28) Through the fire, the external (flesh) is burnt away and the internal (spirit) is revealed. It is through these trials that we learn to walk by the Spirit and Truth.

Therefore, don’t be weighed down by these momentary struggles that tempt you to cater back to your feelings, beloved, you have died to the man that is controlled by his emotions/feelings and have become a partaker of those who walk by the Spirit/Truth (Galatians 2:20). Stand firm in your faith and give thanks to God for what He is doing in you. For He who began the good work in you will complete it (Philippians 1:6). Know that what you are going through is producing in you an eternal weight of glory, therefore remain strong. Remember the words of Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith”. (2 Tim 4:7-8) Keep the faith.

Pray with me, “Papa, I thank you for your faithfulness and the way that you love me. You never leave or forsake me Lord. There may be ten thousand enemies/problems surrounding me but you are holding my hand, leading me, and protecting me through it all. I choose to worship you in the midst of the flames and I trust you, knowing that it is all being worked out for my good, so that you may be glorified. Lord I ask that you would set a guard over my mind in the midst of the battle and give me a tongue of thankfulness. Jesus you are the one that will never leave my side through it all. Thank you for loving and Fathering me the way you do. As trials come, I give you thanks for each one that I will endure by your friendship Holy Spirit. Your teaching me obedience through what I go through. Open my eyes more and more to see your ways. In Jesus name I pray, amen.”

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