Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Refining Fire


I know God is always in the process of refininement.  James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

God almost always has us in a state of trials. I've started to learn to embrace them, as painful as they are, because it's at these times that I am crying out to God in my depravity and brokeness. And I know He is close. Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  Of course He is always close to us.  But in these intense fiery trials when I feel like I can't keep going, I sense the closeness of His presence.  And I cling to Him.

And I almost dread coming out of the trial! Why? I know in "good times" it's harder for me to sit at the feet of Jesus. I fight the notion that I can do things without my Father.  I'm just being honest here. Maybe some of you do well at sitting at His feet during less trialed times. My hat is off to you for that obedience friend! But I struggle - which has turned into a trial in itself! Even as I write this, God has shown me that He allows those seemingly easier times in my life to refine me as much as He does the trialed times. I am learning that I have to fight to cling to Him when the waterhose of life's difficulties is turned off. And all this requires discipline, which is where the refining lies for me in the easy times.

Hebrews 12:5...11 My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines..." I love this next part. Verse 7 states "It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? ... Skip to verse 10b "but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. (11)All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."  PRAISE GOD!

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