Keep on believing, no matter what you are going through...the storms, the trials, the fire...it is all purification of the former life and sanctification of your NEW life hidden in Christ. He is producing patience and endurance, and equipping you for things unseen, unknown to us now, but surely for HIS glory and our future glory with Him. I will say I have never been through such a fire in my life than I have these last few weeks. I cry a lot, but tears of mourning which HE turns into tears of JOY. Those who sow in tears, will reap a harvest of JOY.-Psalm 126:5. He disciplines those He loves and that is how He corrects & equips us & prepares us. If we are children of God we will be disciplined. Think about it DISCIPLE...DISCIPLine...hmm...notice any similarities.
I have never been discipled on such a level, or pushed as hard as I have this season, but it must mean that God thinks I am ready. He believes in us more than we believe in ourselves...because HE knows us inside out, He knows what we are made of and what we will do for Him. Wow, to think each & every day is written in HIS book, and He holds each and every tear we have cried and will ever cry! Here is some encouragement to anyone going through a season like this: The coach is hard on the players He see's more potential in, than they even know they have. So He pushes them and stretches them farther than they knew they could ever go. Take heart beloved! Jesus believes in YOU!!!! Yes. HE. Does. More than you even know! "Though I walk through the Valley...I will fear no evil, for my GOD is with me!" We must walk through the Valley with God to get to the Mountain top with Him and be able to stand firm there on His solid Rock. Whatever we have to fight for with God, He gives us the equipment & perseverance & character to keep it on our way to fighting for it. Hope that makes sense.
And the special gift of ministry you received ...keep that ablaze! God doesn't want us to be shy with His gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 I want to glorify God & serve God & sow to His Spirit in all seasons...He has actually re-awakened my passion for Him & the gifts ablaze through this FIRE!
This is a 1 Peter 1 season for me...God encourages me with His Word. What would I do without my Jesus? He is the ONLY Way.
1 Peter 1
1-2 I, Peter, am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah, writing to exiles scattered to the four winds. Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!
A New Life
3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all—life healed and whole.
6-7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.
8-9 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don't see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you'll get what you're looking forward to: total salvation.
10-12 The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah's Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when. All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled. Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!
A Future in God
13-16 So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives. Don't lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, "I am holy; you be holy."
17 You call out to God for help and he helps—he's a good Father that way. But don't forget, he's also a responsible Father, and won't let you get by with sloppy living.
18-21 Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ's sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It's because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.
22-25 Now that you've cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your new birth comes from God's living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That's why the prophet said,
The old life is a grass life,
its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers;
Grass dries up, flowers droop,
God's Word goes on and on forever.
This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.