Jesus has been very faithful to answer that prayer throughout my life. I can attest to the fact that refining fire isn't called fire because it feels awesome. It feels more like being processed through a meat grinder (no bueno.) Although, the awesome thing about Jesus is that NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING in life, good or bad, hard or easy, happens in vain or without purpose. I remember a quote I heard when I was little, "You always have a choice, get bitter or get better." With each challenge, opposition, trial, or pain we face, we are given the choice. We can choose to internalize, fall in to self pity, self-analyze, dwell in guilt, believe lies, and blame God for what we're facing. Or, we can choose to embrace it and thank and praise Him for it. Say what?! Thank and praise Him for hard stuff? No, your vision does not need checked and you've just read that correctly, praise Him.
Jesus is the Master Weaver. We are only given a trivial glimpse of the masterpiece of our lives. When all we see is a mess of knots and tangled string in our lives, Jesus sees the beginnings of a grand, complex masterpiece that our simple human minds cannot begin to fathom.
Where we see chaos and confusion, He sees opportunity for guidance and unexplainable, supernatural peace.
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
"The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand."
When we feel pain and insecurity, Jesus sees the opportunity for a deeper healing, reassurance, and victory through Him.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When we feel completely alone, Jesus promises that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
When we see brokenness and ashes, Jesus sees beauty.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
This semester has hands down been the hardest, loneliest semester since I've been at Liberty. Although it has been almost unbearably difficult at times, Jesus has proven Himself over and over. He is shaping, molding, and refining me into the woman He created me to be. He is teaching me to cling to Him and find all that I am in Him, not others. He has taught me that He is ALWAYS more than enough, ALWAYS worthy of all praise, and He will NEVER change or leave. Praise His sweet, precious name.
I hope that this is an encouragement and hope to those of you who are facing pain, hurt, challenges and trials right now. Thank you so much for taking the time to read. On a closing note, here is an awesome song that goes with this. I'm a huge fan of Brooklyn Tab :).