The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Standing Faithful in the Furnace

By M.E. Townsend

“The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” John 10:10

In expectation of the abundant life, with ‘Praise the Lord’ easily slipping off our tongue, we begin our walk of ‘faith’ trusting all will run smoothly and that we will overcome every trial with a song in our heart and a spring in our step. We assume our role as a “child of the King” eagerly awaiting our best life ever, having been taught that God wants the best for His children, we sit perched on the promises of God -

“Whatever you ask in My Name, that will I do.”
“If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it.”
“Because I live, you will live also.”
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.” [John 14:13, 14, 19, 27]

Then one day, without warning – we ask yet we do not receive. We continue to ask as our circumstance grows worse yet we do not receive the answer we so desperately seek. Our peace destroyed, our heart troubled, we find, to our dismay, that we are afraid. We bind the authority of satan, casting him out; we command he remove his hand from the “child of the King” With a loud voice, believing confession brings possession, we ‘call forth those things that be not as if they were’ – never realizing it was God who called into existence those things that were not, and not man. [Romans 4]

Doubt replaces faith as “what ifs’ steadily creep in - “What if my faith is too small?” “What if I did not “do” the Word of God as I should?” “What if I have been living in the flesh, therefore living in unbelief?” No longer perched on the promises we find ourselves struggling to even believe the promises as each “what if” unravels our faith one thread at a time.

With a lack of diligence, we give little thought to the growing of our faith. We chose to ignore “the testing of our faith produces endurance” choosing instead to claim “whatever you ask in My Name, that will I do.” Never considering that we must learn to trust in the faithfulness of our Faithful God, we remain spiritual and mental midgets. James tells us to: “count it all joy when we fall into trials” but we are too busy rebuking the devil to count the joy.

The proving ground for the life of all believers will never be found outside of pain and suffering, but only within the confines of the furnace of affliction. Moses learned much as he tended sheep. Learning patience, Moses waited on God's timing until at last he became the shepherd to lead the people of God out of Egyptian bondage into the land of Promise.

Joseph too was chosen to be a mighty deliverer. With long, weary, trying years spent in the dungeon Joseph learned to trust in the faithfulness of his God. Joseph was slandered, maligned, afflicted and oppressed but he could say with certainty: you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”

When the times of testing come and we find yourselves surrounded by a blazing furnace of oppression, realize that many times the Lord will use just such a place to reveal Himself in greater splendor and glory. Realize also that God has allowed this experience of testing, this furnace of affliction so that sin and self might be burned out of our lives.

Remember God has called us to be holy, because He is holy. God will choose us and use us - if we endure the test.

We are not the victim of circumstance. We are a child of the King! We belong to God! However, we are the clay on the potter's wheel. Pressures will come, we will experience rejection, face hardship and loss, be scorned and ridiculed; but our LORD God is the One who orders all things in the lives of His children.

Everything is in the hand of God. Nothing comes to us by accident nor outside His will.

BE FAITHFUL! Be faithful even though you find yourself surrounded by the flaming fiery furnace of heavy trial. Be Faithful and

"... hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering, for He who has promised is faithful - The Lamb of God." [Hebrews 10]

The beautiful promises found in the Book of John were spoken by our LORD to His committed disciples. Peter spoke on behalf of them all when he said:

“See, we have left all and followed You.” [Luke 18:28]

To claim the promises found in these scriptures, without fulfilling the condition is not faith, it is presumption.

Where do you stand? Are you a disciple of the LORD or a member of the church -perched on the wrong promise?

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