And we know that God causes all things
to work together
to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NASB
The temptation to despair looms large when things around you have completely gone to hell. The difficulty lay in seeing the hand of God even in this situation.
I have to remember that God is not mad at me. God is not judging me. When I reap the consequences of my behavior, it is not God that is punishing me. Everything has either a logical or natural consequence. When I am in a storm of my own making, I understand that it is not God that brought the storm.
It IS God that stands with me in the midst of the storm. It is God that sustains me when I feel faint from the effort of having Hope. Just like Nebuchadnezzar saw, when he threw the three into the fiery pit, “One standing like the Son of God“, I can say with all confidence that, even though I lit this fire, God stands with me in this pit, and God protects me from the harshest elements of it. The experience is still mine, but the strength to endure and the ability to gain wisdom comes from God Himself.
Because I am crucified with Christ, my old sin nature was put to death. Because He rose from the dead, I rose anew, a new life form. I know that after this last trial, I will walk out refined and purified. I cannot make this claim unless Christ is my life.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. “ Galatians 2:20 NASB
Because of Jesus, and my redemption by His blood, I can, with all confidence say, I have been made anew. When this refining fire is over, I will be stronger in the Lord. I will know God in intimate ways I never would have comprehended had I not been subject to the logical consequences of my behavior.
God has not punished me. Jesus took on that punishment when He became all my sin on the cross. Because of this great gift, I am now the adopted child of God. God will allow consequences to come my way, natural and logical, when I step out of His will for my life.
I praise God that He has given me the freedom to think for myself. And I praise God that He upholds me when I reap what I sow. From this lesson, I have learned that doing things God’s way is far better than seeking riches, fame, and the praise of men.
God has, and is, and will work even this situation out to His glory, to my best good, because I am called according to His purposes.
I may not understand why, sometimes, it seems as if He is a thousand miles away. It may be that my fear of the flames has distorted my view of Him, and He has been right here all along, holding me, because I have fainted.
Through this fire, I have seen my unnecessary beliefs, behaviors and possessions disappear in smoke. All I thought was important couldn’t stand in the fire of God’s just mercy. What remains is a grace that I never imagined could exist.
Now I have joy, love, and peace, and I comprehend the love of God. I am His beloved. Now I am useful for His purposes in me.
I thank you God that you allow me to go through these things.
I cannot be that new creature and cling to the old things. They are incompatible. As God’s adopted child, and co-heir to Heaven, my old belongings would only pollute the things and places God intends to give me.
I praise you God for a wisdom that in infinitely more than any human wisdom. Where the world sees a failure and a loser, you see a new creation, fresh from the master’s refining fire.
I am happy to lose everything I thought was meaningful and important, knowing that what God will be giving me is worth more than anything the world has to offer.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;
the old things passed away; behold,
new things have come.”
II Corinthians 5:17 NASB
Come to Jesus and be refined in the fire of His love. You will never regret it for all eternity.
I love you.
David G. Perkins