Thursday, May 22, 2014

Praise Him in the Storm

"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 
I Peter 1:6, 7 (emphasis mine)
I don't know about you but I get so excited and am so greatly encouraged when I see precious saints walk faithful with God through great and heavy trials.  I never rejoice at the circumstances, but when their responses are to press in deeper to Him and tuck into His embrace, my faith is built up and I say, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Every time we respond by running into the arms of Jesus, we defeat the enemy of our souls!
I think of Job after he had lost his sheep, his servants, his camels and his sons.  Scripture says -
"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, And said, 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither:  the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
Job 1:20, 21 (emphasis mine)
Job blessed God in the midst of one of the greatest trials a person could be in!
Then when he was smote with boils and was suffering greatly, his own wife told him to "curse God and die" to which Job responded -
"What?  shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?"  
And Scripture goes on to say - "In all this did not Job sin with his lips."
Job 2:10
I don't know about you, but this excites me!!
In all things, God is good!
I think of the quote that I love that says -
"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain."
And learning to dance in the rain happens when we submit our will to His and continue to praise Him through the storms.
But, greatly rejoicing?  Can we do that?
Greatly rejoice when we are in heaviness going through the trying of our faith?
These are some reasons to rejoice in the trial:
1 - God is in the trial.  He works it all out for good.  He is always on your side and He is always moved by what you go through.
2 - Through trials, God certifies the genuineness of your faith.  He sees that your faith in Him isn't just because He gives you good things, but your faith is genuinely in Him.
3 - God packs your trials full with His promises!!  He promises to never leave nor forsake you!  He promises "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." 
Isaiah 43:1b-2 (emphasis mine)
Did you catch that word "when?"  He doesn't say "If"; He says "when."  The trials will come!  Your faith will be tested.
Until your faith has been tested, it doesn't show forth its' true value. 
Scripture says your faith is more precious than gold.  That's why the battle for it is so strong.
Stand strong in your trials! 
Stand strong when your faith is tested! 
Stand strong in the promises of God! 
He walks through it all with you! 
He will never disappoint! 
He will not walk away when you grow faint and feel that you're losing the battle! 
He will not condemn you when you grow weary and want to give up! 
He will not even walk away when you do!
And when your heart is breaking and you don't understand what's happening, He feels your pain and collects your tears!
When you are reduced to a puddle before Him, He picks you up in His embrace!
He continues to strengthen and encourage you! 
He continues to love you and pours out His grace and mercy upon you!
His grace becomes more than amazing, more than sufficient, more than enough to see you through.
Sometimes all we can do is say - Jesus - and He responds to that heartfelt cry!
Praise Him in your storm today and know that it will end! 
God will be faithful! 
He always is!

And your faith will "be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."


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