The Lord indeed uses temptation, trials, problems, tribulation, the valleys of life, the wilderness and the fire to grow our spiritual muscles……just so he can then give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes
James 1:1-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, a whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Many Christians cry out for the fire of God. We ask the Lord to fill us with his fire, consume us with his fire, set us on fire and when the fire comes we…..run in fear, in confusion, in hurt and complaint. (or am I just talking to myself lol) I would tell the lord that in my prayer time as I would look at the apostles of old who where endowed with power when the fire of the Holy Spirit came upon them or seeing many of his servants who are so consumed with the fire of his love that they walk in such a beautiful intimacy with him. I just didn’t comprehend the fire would be so hot at times and comes to not really set us on fire but to BURN EVERYTHING IN US THAT IS NOT OF HIM. This season has indeed been a time in the fiery furnace and the more I walk with Jesus I recognize that the purification process its just that a process. Its not a one time thing but continuous testing of our love for our God and our neighbor in every season I believe one way or the other.
However, what I am recognizing why the Lord tells us to count it joy is that not only is it an opportunity to become more intimate with him in these trials because we run to him and to be purified but once we get out of self pity, the complaining, and the pain of it he would like to teach us how to walk through the fire. Equipping us with lessons, and strategic strategy against the enemy. Trials equip us for Spiritual Warfare and grow our spiritual muscles. Just as when you work out the more resistance you have the more your muscles grow and become stronger. However, anyone who works out knows when you began to work out with resistance your muscles began to tear, it burns, the next day your muscles are so sore and when they rebuild they are stronger than they were before. That’s how trials are for believers, when the Lord allows the enemy to bring resistance, it tears sometimes our very foundation, it can shake your whole world apart but the Lord allows it to tear down in us what is not of him, to shake our fragile foundation in order to build upon it the rock. The fire never consumes us even though many times it feels like that but it comes to refine and purify us.
I love what this Pastor said just yesterday when I went to my sisters bible study he reference Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship and conjunction with 2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. That when we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice that means to die to ourselves as the Lord test and tries us and the fire of God comes to burn out the chaff in us and kill our flesh completely and as we burn which is all SELF..self esteem, self confidence, self opinion, self will, self-pride, self help we than become a sweet aroma., pleasing to the Lord.
So I don’t know about you but the word of God says if one suffers we are all suffering in the body. So I believe many others are going through fiery trials right now, you may be asking the Lord why me, I cant take it any longer, Lord deliver me, but I am learning that when fiery trials come the weapon of our warfare is PRAISE AND WORSHIP…truly. That’s the weapon of choice, counting it joy. Lord can you please give us the grace to see from your perspective through our trials and sing our way through the fire as David did so many time. So be encouraged my fellow brethren, you are in training don’t run from the process but be steadfast and preserver! Praying for you all
-From Jesus with love