Purified in the Fire
Sin Recovery is admitting that we are powerless against sin and thus we cannot manage our lives without God’s miraculous intervention.
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, July 5, 2019
Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship
Today’s Scripture Focus: Job 6:2-13
When trials come after you’ve committed to doing whatever God says, how do you cope? See, it’s one thing to experience the consequences of our sins (like going to prison for carjacking someone), but it’s another thing altogether when we have trials for reasons that have nothing to do with our mistakes. It is a bitter pill to swallow when we are afflicted after choosing to live for God.
Job did just that. He was a truehearted follower of God. In fact, the book named after him begins with the writer declaring Job “blameless and upright…one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1 NKJV). That is an amazing testimony when God is the one vouching for you. Yet, as we see Job’s story unfold, he proceeds to lose everything that matters to him. He loses his children, property, wealth, and his health. This causes him to also lose a level of peacefulness because he can’t figure out why his life has taken such a sudden downturn. He even begins to wonder if he has any unconfessed sins that he needs to repent of. Day after day Job experienced the worst trials any of us could ever imagine. And the Bible says in spite of all of this he held on to his faith wishing only for death.
Depression is Common with Discipleship
Have you ever been so low that you wanted to die? Did becoming a believer bring more trials than you bargained for? Can you feel Job’s lament? “Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? And is wisdom driven quite from me?” (Job 6:12-13 NKJV).
Well I have good news, and I have great news. The good news is that trials don’t last forever. The great news is that trials don’t last forever! We will, and must, encounter our fiercest troubles the closer we get to God. Yet, in our helplessness, He promises to send divine aid. The Spirit comes near at just the right times to tell us how much God loves us. He encourages us to stay faithful even when we feel like giving up. And the Bible promises us that He will refresh our mindset. So even when we’re tempted to return to our old way of life we will resist.
The Refiner’s Fire
Today’s emphasis is not so much about the times we’ve done wrong and made a mess of our lives. It’s about realizing that even when we do what God says we are powerless against the sin that lurks around us. Distress comes because sin exists. Trials come because sin exists. Depression, pain, privation, loss, we are susceptible to all kinds of suffering in this world because sin exists. We don’t get a free pass to luxurious spiritual living when we choose to follow God by faith. However, we do receive the blessing of heavenly help through all of life’s difficulties. Indeed, we are powerless against sin in this world. But our God will continue to intervene in our lives as long as we put Him first.
Job learned some valuable lessons in the midst of his storm. Although God already considered him righteous, Job said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear: But now my eyes see You” (Job 42:5 NKJV). Job’s experience with God was enriched after going through trials. His faith was strengthened and his faith purified because of suffering. It’s a hard message. But are you ready and willing to be purified through trials? Don’t answer now. Just fall on your knees and ask the Lord to make you battle ready. Ask Him to harden you against sin so that no matter what life throws your way, you will keep trusting in God.
If you get tired of your job, keep trusting in God. If your spouse leaves you for no fault of your own, keep trusting in God. If, God forbid, your child suddenly falls deathly ill, keep trusting in God. If you are tempted to go back to your old ways, just keep trusting in God. And as you do so, you will come through any trial like pure gold.