Trials

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Our trials are like the furnace faced by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel. We feel trapped by the circumstance. We can't see a way out and pray that we will not have to endure the fire. We declare in faith that our God is able to save us, and yet we know He may not. We yield to His sovereign will even as we pray for a miracle, which seems like a long shot. Will He save us? We hope the crisis is averted, but suddenly we are being dragged by the enemy, towards the hot, fiery pit without any recourse. There's nothing we can do to stop the calamity. An agony we didn't know we could feel... overtakes us. Where is God we wonder? It's so brutal even the soldiers who carry out the damning orders… die of heat exhaustion. Everything in the wake of this disaster is lost. Barely knowing how we got here, we are engulfed in a blaze at a temperature that melts iron. Our prayers are so desperate we don’t recognize our own voice. “Father, will you save us or will we be destroyed?” The flames consume everything in their path…everything...but us ... A strange and astonishing awareness begins to unfold. There is someone else in the fire. His arms are strong and His face bears the comfort of One Who knows, all is well. Have you ever danced in the fire and did you ever imagine you could? Count it all joy. Who knew that there is an intimacy with Jesus that is only experienced in the inferno of affliction? Does He preserve His closest, most cherished encounters for those whom He trusts to endure the scorching flames? Suddenly, there is a courage that grips our soul; a hope in the dream that we had previously had no evidence of seeing actualize. “We may survive this nightmare”, we ruminate. As quickly as it all began, we are escorted from the fire in a march of commemoration to the God Who never forsook us though we worried He would. It is finished. He is the God Who is seen most closely by those who have lost all security in earthly treasures. When Jesus is all of you've got, He is all you need. The fire ends and we remain. Daniel 3:27 (AMP) "And the satraps, the deputies, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered around together and saw these men—that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed; neither were their garments scorched or changed in color or condition, nor had even the smell of smoke clung to them." When our trial is over, there will be no evidence of the anguish; no sign or scar of the pain and no smell of the smoke. When this is over, your victory will be astounding and used to the glory of God alone. Trust Him.

Power

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Are you up against a formidable enemy that is terrifying your life?  There’s an amazing story in 2 Kings 6.  If we could see the power that surrounds us in the invisible world, we would not be afraid of the onslaught of disastrous circumstances that seem to be rising against us.  When the servant of Elisha woke up one day to see the enemy had surrounded their city for the specific reason of killing them, he was terrified.  Your situation may terrify you.  It may appear you are outnumbered.  There is no visible way of escape and it looks hopeless.  The man of God, Elisha, had weathered many storms of life.  He was not a novice in the things of the supernatural.  He knew the power of God.  He had already seen the incredible manifestation of the vengeance of God on behalf of His children…over and over again.  There is no indication that Elisha saw with his natural eyes what he next gifted his servant with.  Elisha said, “Fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” The servant could not comprehend what Elisha was talking about.  Clearly they were about to be consumed by the enemy…clearly with all the facts … as they appeared; this was going to end badly.   I love this in verse 17, “And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’” May God open our eyes to see that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers of darkness.  If our fight is not against what we actually see with our eyes, then our worry, anxiety and stress over the visible is a complete waste of time.  God is fighting for you in a realm you cannot see, except your eyes of faith are opened. The verse continues, “Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  God is not mocked; He is not weak; He is not powerless and He will not let our justice be miscarried.  He will not leave us defenseless when attacked by evil.  With the precision of a laser-guided weapon, God will obliterate the assault of our adversary.  Do not look at what your eyes can see.  This is not a battle of circumstance.  Fight with prayer that your eyes would be opened to see the most powerful force in the universe, steadily, immovably, unstoppably at work on your behalf. 

Your Promotion is Coming

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Your greatest promotion comes on the heels of a season of failure. When everything you ever put your hope in is a let down; when what used to work...collapses and when your endless toiling yields no reward, your promotion is coming. When Jesus found Peter, he had failed to meet his quota for success. He had done all the right things that his seasoned experience demanded, but there was no catch...nothing, dismal disappointment. The deep things of life were about to be revealed to Peter in Luke 5, as Jesus said, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Peter had already done this...all night long. It didn't work. There was no provision or good that came from it. Peter had a choice at this moment, to trust God or his experience. In faith Peter said, "Nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net"...that blind faith is when Jesus showed up with a net-breaking blessing. So much provision ensued that the net Peter had always used to hold it was not enough. Your net is not enough to hold what is coming. God will break everything we put our trust in that is not of Him. Peter saw a miracle where he had previously had to strive for everything. This caused him to bow in humility as he realized he had just come in contact with the One True Provider. Peter fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Peter's humanity and vain futility of effort became crystal clear. It was then that Jesus took him into his next phase...a fisher of men...Peter's promotion. It was after the failure that Peter knew he needed a Saviour. It was the contrast between slavery to works of his own flesh and the miracle provision of a life-giving God. "So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him." Your failure will lead to your destiny...look for the miracle.

Facing Adversity

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I really hate pain in life. Adversity stretches my soul to its breaking point. I detest the feeling...but I wonder who I would be without it? Had I not lost… would I appreciate what I have gained? My broken heart has given me empathy for the one who is crushed with grief. Would I have compassion for those who suffer if I hadn't felt the bitter hurt of a shattered dream? If I had not cried my own tears… would I truly care about yours? The season when money and resources were scarce… addressed my disregard for the poor. The temptation that almost destroyed me… gave me wisdom to guard the rest of my years. The decimation and consequences of secret lies taught me a healthy respect for the brilliance and peace of God’s laws. When I faced the brutal humanity of my own failures, I found the astonishing redemption of God. I now fear the fallout of stupidity. Had I not been forgiven so much… I may not have been able to offer forgiveness to those who have wounded me. The humiliation of my ego; the crushing of my pride has given way to contentment without entitlement. When I was seemingly abandoned in a prison of endless waiting for my breakthrough, I learned that faith is the evidence of things not observed with my senses. It is the very substance of hope in a God you cannot see, without justifiable indication of the miracle that finally comes in His timing. In the midst of the torment, I learned He was so close I could feel His breath on my face. I found out He shows up with a vengeance ~ just like He promises. I had heard of His faithfulness, but now I know it in my soul. Count it all joy when you experience a myriad of difficult tests and trials. They become the firing kiln that fortifies the foundation of your destiny with wisdom and power. When you come through… you become unstoppable.

Fight With The Devil

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For all of you who have found yourself in a knock-down, drag out, dirty, back alley fight with the devil over something he has tried to take from you…rest assured, he’s not going to win. He’s gone after your kids, your spouse, your money, your stuff, your sense of identity, your power, your talents, your calling and your dignity, but he’s fighting a losing battle and it’s time for him to run. The Lord rebukes him. This battle does not belong to man, but to God Almighty and He has already promised you that you win! 2 Chronicles 20:17 “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.” Whatever you have lost, had ripped out of your hands, watched in horror as it became a vapor before your eyes and grieved over the magnitude of the attack…it is time to see the monumental vindication of your God on your behalf. Position yourself in a posture of complete surrender to the Commander and Chief Who goes before you and takes no prisoners. Stand still and see the redemption of your God.