Friday, October 23, 2015

Glorify God in the Fire

"Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit!" John 15:2 
"I have refined you in the furnace of suffering!" Isaiah 48:10 
Fire not only burns and purges, but it separates one thing from another.

God Almighty knows that we are often purged more in one hour by a good sound trial — than by a "thousand manifestations of His love. It is a fine thing to come purified, to come pardoned out of the furnace of affliction. The furnace is intended to purge us to separate the precious from the vile, the chaff from the wheat. And God, in order to do this, is pleased to put us into one fire after another.

There are some roads which are finely paved and smooth — but the King's road to Heaven is strewed with crosses and afflictions!

My brethren, we need to be purged! How apt are we to want to go to Heaven upon a featherbed. But many go lying upon beds of pain and languishing, which is the King's highway there.

God will not put us into the fire — if there was not something to be purged away. The grand thing, is to learn to glorify God in the fire.

We glorify God in the fire, when we quietly endure it as a chastisement, and when we bear it patiently. It is a dreadful thing when we are saying with Cain, "My punishment is greater than I can bear!" But the language of a soul that glorifies God in the fire is this, "Shall I, Lord, shall I a sinful man, complain for the punishment of my sins?"

We glorify God in the fire, when, though we feel pain and anguish, we at the same time say, "Lord, we deserve this and ten thousands times more!" 

We glorify God in the fire also, when we are really and fully persuaded that God will put us in the furnace only for our good, and His own glory. 

We glorify God in the fire when we say, "Lord don't let the fire go out until it has purged away all my dross!" 

We glorify God in the fire when the soul can say, "Here I am, my God, do with me as seems good in Your sight! I know that I shall not have one unnecessary stroke!"

We glorify God in the fire when we are not grumbling, but humbly submitting to His will. When that awful message was brought to Eli, what does he say? "It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him." Let my children be killed, whatever is done, it is the Lord's doing! 

We glorify God in the fire when we rejoice in Him — when we can thank God for striking us — when we can thank Him for whipping us!

Happy are you who have got into Christ's fire!
-George Whitefield

Friday, October 9, 2015

Rejoicing in Suffering

 Rejoicing in Suffering

A little reminder for the day:
“ And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” Romans 5:3-4

"At first we would say that a home into which no sorrow had ever come, is the happiest home. It has had only prosperity. It is a Christian home, too, and has all the blessings of true religion. It is a home of love, ideal in its fellowship. But it has never known a sorrow. The circle is unbroken. No tears have been shed in it. We would say that this is the happiest home we know.

But it takes sorrow to perfect 'love's happiness'. There is little doubt that the sweetest home, is one in which there has been grief. We do not find the richest things in the Bible, until we pass into shadows. We do not see the stars, until night comes. There is no rainbow, except when there are clouds. We do not find out the richest love, even of our human friends, while we are strong and well and prosperous; it is only when we are in some grief or trouble, that we discover how much they love us. And we do not get the best of God's grace—until we are in sorrow.

Besides, grief softens our hearts, makes us capable of deeper affection and sympathy, and draws us nearer to each other. After a household has stood together around the coffin of one of its own—it is a new tenderness that unites the members. Suffering together, brings a new closeness in loving. Thus, even sorrow may be put among the elements of home happiness."
-          (JR Miller - Miller's Year Book)

Suffering is one thing that all Christians experience but the blessing of it all is that as a believer we have the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability to rejoice in the midst of suffering. Others may not understand this especially the non-believers but the way we, believers weather the hard times in our lives can become a wonderful testimony to others.
There is pain, that one cannot be denied, we can be honest about it but it is still possible to experience genuine rejoicing. We can have peace and joy in spite of our circumstances. As for me when I am going through one of these experiences, I reflect on it, I try by God’s grace to listen to the truths and see the lesson that He want to teach me. Suffering is a good thing because they produce a fruit of righteousness in my life. God is using life’s difficulties to build my character. As the verse say: it produces patience which in turn strengthens my character, deepen my trust in God and give me confidence about the future: that is hope =) Sufferings should draw us closer to God. 

Help me Lord, to rejoice in sufferings knowing that you are working something in my life. Help me not to panic but have a steady and stronger faith in You.