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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Beauty in Tests

Don't Panic, this is just a test

This is the message on Joyce Meyer's broadcast today.  I was only eight minutes into the video and it felt as if I was watching it for twenty minutes, because I was getting so much from it in that short period of time. So many things hit the nail on the head and God placed it on my heart to not keep it to myself, but instead, to share it.

Many of us are going through things in our lives that we feel we see no end to and no way of getting out. Sometimes the extremity of our circumstances forces us to seek the wrong escape by no longer trying, caring, and living or even finding distractions that bring us deeper into our own peril. But that's the easy way and the cheater’s way out. Who wants to overcome a situation by not overcoming it, because we cheated? As a believer I really see the importance of praising through the circumstances. As Joyce puts it, "Whatever you want, until you can do good without it then, you probably won't get it."

This is how I interpret it: until we, i.e., you and me, can be happy within our sufferings, then chances are we won't get what our hearts desire and we will end up spending the rest of our lives always wanting and never having. Also, when we do reach a point of happiness without the things we desire, sometimes it’s because we really don’t need it after all. Quite likely, because we have been so blind-sighted by what we think we need, we often times pass up an opportunity that God has placed before us as a replacement of that need. And until we are happy with where we are in our lives our circumstances will never change.

An adorable figurine I purchased when I was in College
So enjoy the beauty of your tests. It is because of God’s love for us that He places us in these situations. You may think, Oh I brought this upon myself; I should have known better; I deserve what I’m getting. On the contrary, NO, you didn’t bring this upon yourself; and you probably didn’t know any better; and even if you did, God knew you were going to make that move anyway, because this was the only option you left Him with to teach you. So you in turn have no choice but to trust and rely on Him. And No, you certainly do not deserve the results of those actions. In fact, you deserve to come out of it. 

So what’s the lesson God is teaching you? Seek Him first and everything else you desire He will give them to you, according to His will. Having joy in Him gives you strength to conquer the attacks and temptations of the enemy and most importantly endure your trials. Things shouldn’t always be going your way for you to be happy.

So what if you actually rely on Him and not yourself and on man? What if you actually believe and have faith that you serve a much bigger purpose than the rut or jam you are in? Well here’s what can happen: “Now to Him, whose power is at work within us, is able to do superabundantly far over and above all that we dare to ask or think (infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.”

Hmm… Interesting statement, isn’t it? Seeking God and coming to Him in complete faith means that He will grant and bless you even more than you could even fathom.

I like that Joyce Meyer puts her spin on “Testimony” claiming that some of us end up with “monies” instead of the actually testimony.  We complain and gripe over not having and not receiving, so much so, that we overlook the lesson that should be learned. The truth is God allows these tests so He can use you beyond what you could ever begin to accept. Channel your hurt; disappointment; void of things desired into a lesson that only you can share when you actually learn it (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4).

One song writer says in his song, Forgiven, that (and I’m paraphrasing here) you can never have a message unless you go through the “mess.”

So love the mess you’re in and find beauty in your test—the heartbreak, the unemployment, the lack of love, the lack of a husband or wife or girlfriend or boyfriend, the lack of finances, the days you shop and always have to watch the price tag, the loneliness, the one thing you need to get to the next level in your life or career,  the dream not ‘yet’ fulfilled—because when God is finished with you, you will be much stronger, much wiser, and more fulfilled; and essentially more useful to you and to someone else.

There is so much more to learn from this sermon and I encourage you to watch it. Click here to watch now.

Reference/Power verses:

James 1: 2-4
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. 3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. 4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

James 1: 12
Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.

Ephesians 3: 20
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

Deuteronomy 8: 3
… He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 1: 9
Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.

HERE are some beautiful songs sharing a similar message. And I pray that this post blesses and inspires some one. Be Blessed!

"The Way You Love Me"--Anthony Evans

"Everyone Hurts"--Kirk Franklin

"Holding On"--Tye Tribbett

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