Monday, July 18, 2011

Joyfully His- Even Amidst Great Difficulty!

Lately, Christ has revealed to me the blessing and the joy of trials, tribulations, afflictions and troubles: sent by God and serving to test or prove our faith, character, and holiness in Christ Jesus.

It is very easy to sit back and live a lazy "Christian" life. We are Christians when it comes to "accepting Christ as our Saviour and Lord", but when it comes to enduring through tribulations, and suffering for His name sake, we shudder at even the thought of it. Why is it so?

We so often forget that the bible promises that the testing of our faith produces: Patience, endurance, steadfastness, glory to Christ, praise to Christ, honor to Christ, salvation of souls, a display of God's faithfulness, a refinement as unto silver and gold, a knowing of the heart, rich fulfillment, identification with God, an offering of righteousness, peace with God, wisdom, perseverance/character/experience/hope, access to grace, a crown of life and the Holy Spirit!! That my friends, is a very long list, full of extremely wonderful things. But we MUST endure the trials that the Lord has given unto us as soldiers of Jesus!!
(You therefore must endure hardship, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:3)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness...that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:3
 Have you ever shined a glow stick in the daytime? You can hardly tell that any light is coming from it. The same is with us - we are just earthen vessels, full of God's radiant light. But His Light can not be seen nor shined if we are in a bright world with no darkness to be exposed. No, He uses us to shine His light in this dark world. We often forget that there will be very dark times in our lives, that we will be lead through the valley of the shadow of death... we will - tt is a part of being in a sinful world. But, my sweet friends, rejoice in the Lord when you go through trials or dark times, for it is then that the Lord's light can truly shine! Praise Him evermore, for His loving kindness is everlasting!
Thank God for the tough spots He put you in. That is where He is getting His love through you to the unlovely, and to people who harm you. That is how Jesus lived on earth, expressing the love of God to those who criticized and hated Him; and that is how Jesus now lives in us, expressing the same love through us. He has put us among difficult people, so that His supernatural love may be seen by them. So praise the Lord for every tough spot you are in. It is not God’s will to deliver us from tough spots, but in them. There is no other way of getting at those who do not know Him except by living among them. Norman Grubb- Knight of Faith, Volume I 
We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; (Suffering that puts strength, patience of faith to the test; afflictions or temptations that exercise and prove the graces or virtues of men.) and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:13

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed
(Sovereign Grace Music)

Dear ones, know that you can not endure this trial on your own nor can you count it as pure joy. It is impossible on your own strength. But Jesus can and He already has! He will live a joyful life in and through you!! If you are having great difficulty applying this to your life, then all I can say is - Look to Jesus! Pray and Praise! And, dear, HE is being greatly glorified while you praise Him, even when it is difficult to praise. For the King and His glory alone I write! I love you all dearly!

Joyfully His in ALL circumstances,

Hannah Brooke Hartman

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

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