Saturday, February 19, 2011


Brother Andrew

God uses trials in our lives to refine, beautify, and strengthen us.. In our natural state our personalities resemble unrefined gold. The heat of our difficult circumstances melts the gold and brings to the surface the dross in our characters - the pride and unbelief, the unloving attitudes, the self -will.
PRAISING God brings our hearts in line with His intentions, so that He can work in us more freely. It opens us to His will, so that we can cooperate with Him in His plan to remove the impurities.
Yet, instead of PRAISING, we so easily complain and resist His working. By our complaints and resistance we stir the scum back into our personalities. This may necessitate the heat of continued chastening to accomplish what God wants to do in us. It may delay His answers to our prayers for both ourselves and our loved ones. In contrast, PRAISE and THANKSGIVING can serve as catalysts, speeding up the refining process in our lives.

God uses trials to perfect FAITH as well as character. Again and again trials bring us to the end of our human resources, so that we allow to meet our needs and satisfy our longings. Trials rip away the filmsy fabric of our self-sufficiency. This allows God to weave into our hearts His strength, love, and wisdom. Trials exercise our FAITH, developing strong confidence that says, "I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me, [that is, I am self-sufficient in Christ's suuficiency - Philippians 4:13]
With God no probelm in our personalities or circumstances is impossibile or even difficult. Our troubles never surprise Him. They never catch Him off guard, causing Him to wring His hands and wonder what to do. As we repeatedly focus on God's sufficiency in difficult situations, we develop a steady trust in Him.

PRAISE helps us to stand back from our difficulties and fix our attention on our infinite, loving God. It helps us measure our probelms look like molehills rather than mountains. In the light of God's sovereign kindness and wise purposes, we see them as stepping-stones rather than stumbling blocks, as opportunities rather than obstacles. They are raw materialsfor God's miracles and the prelude to greater obedience.
As our perspective changes, our feelings often shift from negative to positive. But even if they are slow to respond, we can continue to give thanks with our minds and wills. We can choose to rejoice thatGod is our source of wise guidance and overcoming power though we still feel angry or confused about our circumstances.
God has given us His WORD to reassure our hearts. Through it He reminds us of His loving goodness, which always plans for our best, of His wisdom, which never makes a mistake, and of His power, which can make something glorious our of the sorriest fragments of our lives.
God has also given us His Spirit, who energizes us to obey His command to give thanks. As we choose to thank Him simply because we want to obey and please Him, we switch on His power by faith. we give Him opportunity to work in us, making us both willing and able to give sincere thanks in spite of contrary feelings.
By natural temperament we may differ from one another in the time that elapses between event and our choice to give thanks, of between that choice and our upsurge of joy. As we can shorten our periods of inner resistance or adjustment. This is growth. Growth does not mean that we have no struggles, but that we more quickly resolve our inner conflicts.

Through THANKSGIVING and PRAISE we obey God's command, "When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!" (James 1:2 - Phillips). James reminds us that trials come to test our FAITH. They develop us so that we will in no way be deficient. In view of these tremendous benefits, we are to welcome trials as friends. The KJV says that we should count it all JOY when we "fall into" many trials.

The attitude of accepting trials with JOY was a principle with the Apostle Paul. He refused to lose heart when afflicted in every way, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. He accepted these troubles as opportunities to manifest the life of Jesus to other people (2 Corinthians 4:8-11).

We serve a God Who can cause all things to work together for good, both for ourselves and others (Romans 8:28). He can produce beauty out of ashes, power out of weakness, growth out of failure, triump out of distress. As we give THANKS and PRAISE regardless of what happens, we align ourselves with God and His purposes. This prepares us to colabour with Him in using for good the worst happens to us in a fallen world.
(an extract from: PRAISE - A Door To God's Presence by Warren & Ruth Myers)

May this awesome song inspires you to bring PRAISE in your situations .... have a victorious week. TPWC.

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