Expect Trials to Multiply

Feed your faith

In my previous blog I shared about my late night of crying so hard that I broke a blood vessel in my eye while praying over a prolonged spiritual battle. A circumstance I was in out of obedience to God. I told God I was finished fighting and I meant it…unless He showed me otherwise. I remembered Hebrews 5:7 “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” Jesus was intense with deep emotion. Jesus was not guarding his heart, soul, mind and strength from his heavenly Father. No! He was showing exceeding sorrow. God considered this passion reverent submission to His plan.

Reverent. Humble. Obedient.

Yes, there isn’t anyone else I would be comfortable showing this much emotional confusion, need and turmoil to. No one else could handle it on any level. It is only God’s opinion that matters and He is the one I want to obey…because I trust Him. God does not become frustrated with or tired of my raw emotions. He considers them reverent submission.

The next morning when I woke up I rolled over and picked up my devotional book turning to page two. I just began reading this devotional the day before. I like to keep devotional books around the house that I can read for a quick pick-me-up during the day when I need more of God and this particular morning I needed a stimulant just to muster up the strength to crawl out of bed.

I read:

___________________________________________________________________________

EXPECT TRIALS TO MULTIPLY

God does not put heavy burdens on weak shoulders. God educates and tests our faith by trials that increase in proportion to our faith. God expects us to do adult work and to endure adult afflictions only after we have reached a mature status in Christ Jesus. Therefore, beloved, expect your trials to multiply as you proceed toward heaven.

Do not think that as you grow in grace your path will become smoother and the sky calmer and clearer. Quite the contrary. As God gives you greater skill as a soldier of the cross, He will send you on more difficult missions. As He more fully equips your ship to sail in storms, He will send you on longer voyages to more boisterous seas, so that you may honor Him and increase in holy confidence.

You would think that in Abraham’s old age – after he had come to the land of Beulah, after the birth of Isaac, and especially after the expulsion of Ishmael – he would have had a time of rest. But “it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham” (Genesis 22:1). Let Abraham’s story warn us to never plan on a rest from trials this side of the grave.

The trumpet still plays the notes of war. You cannot sit down and put the victory wreath on your head. You do not have a crown. You still must wear the helmet and carry the sword. You must watch, pray, and fight. Expect your last battle to be most difficult, for the enemy’s fiercest charge is reserved for the end of the day.

*Beside Still Waters: Words of Comfort for the Soul. C.H. Spurgeon, Edited by Roy H. Clarke, p2

 ___________________________________________________________________________

Watch, pray and fight.” Fight was the very thing I made clear I no longer wanted to do unless God told me I must. When God answers my prayers specifically through scriptures, a Bible study, Christian book/author or a godly person, I know it is not a coincidence and I better take note of it. Rarely do I receive an answer this quickly but God knew my heart, my need and my state of mind. God was not removing or ending my suffering but I knew He would give me His grace for each new day.

Well, I cannot say my soul was comforted but it was resolved. I took note of expecting my last battle to be the most difficult because it meant the situation could intensify. I knew better than to ask, “What else can go wrong?” because there is always something else. I knew God would honor and bless my submission to keep fighting even though I was not complying with a smile on my face or a joyful song in my heart. I knew the transformation and blessings might not happen here on earth so I was not looking around every corner or new day for the answered prayer to be placed in my lap. Life is not about me and what I think I deserve or do not deserve. I deserve nothing. I deserve death but Christ took care of the justice I deserved, on the cross, and made me worthy. All my sins and failures are paid for and eternal life in heaven is my destiny. Life is about agape; loving God and loving others. I may have to wait until heaven to see the big picture and that’s all right…because I am pretty certain my obedience will be GREATLY rewarded and paid out in a jewel for my crown. I think part of the reason I was allowed this battle was from praying years ago to be allowed a crown of splendid jewels to toss at Jesus’ feet.

There have been a couple of battles where I had to bite my tongue when I found myself wanting to tell someone, with a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye, “Thanks! I know you meant that for bad but you just earned me another jewel for my crown.” In this way I can keep some humor in my heart during the heat of the battle.

A few years earlier God had impressed upon my heart that this particular spiritual battle would grow worse before it became better. I have always held on to the ‘better’.

I knew I would need to collect my spiritual manna each morning. My, “What is it?” I have never known what it is and I often have no idea how I will endure another day of watching, praying and fighting. All I can say is that God’s manna is super natural and it is always enough. Occasionally I believe I didn’t collect enough morning manna to make it all the way through the day but God has a track record of seeing me through my tough hours one hundred percent (100%) of the time.

That day was no exception. I did crawl out of bed, care for and teach my children, prepare my home for facilitating a mother/daughter Bible study, prepare dinner and eat with my family plus found a few moments of time alone with my husband before guests began arriving for our next Beth Moore Bible study, Daniel: Lives of Integrity – Words of Prophecy.

Even as I type out that day’s schedule I realize only God could have given me the energy and clarity of mind to get through that day. He’s good like that. God delights in the invitation to be involved in our daily lives. I’ll gladly take more of Him!

“There is only one group of people who don’t have any problems…

Yep, and they are no longer breathing air either.”

– Michelle Teague

Part 1: Weebles Wobble But They Don’t Fall Down, previous blog

Lyrics:

So faithful
So constant
So loving and so true
So powerful in all You do

You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

So patient
So gracious
So merciful and true
So wonderful in all You do

You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
And You love for me to sing to You

And Lord, I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

You remind me

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

Proof positive

Read the accounts of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-44, Luke 22: 41-44). What is Jesus saying to you about being real and honest when you pray to God?

Tell God you want your relationship with Him to grow deeper.

Be real when you pray because God knows the real you anyway. He knows your strengths, weaknesses, failures and sins. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Don’t pretend and don’t try to hide how you feel or what you are thinking. God already knows who you are so just be yourself when you approach Him.

Jesus gave us examples for prayer. Don’t wear masks or withhold feelings – God can handle all of it. God heard the full range of emotions from Jesus, our example, so that we will know what is acceptable and pleasing to Him.

 

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