The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again.” 1Peter 1:7
‘Bad Stuff Happens.’ Sometimes, lots of bad stuff happens all at once. Its times like these that make us wonder when we will ever get a break:
Let’s glimpse back to ‘one of those weeks’ in my life… the third week of September 2003 to be exact. Monday and Tuesday started off great. For the first time in months we had been able to work on our music studio; and we’d finally received some equipment that had been ordered months before. It encouraged us to see some positive strides toward our struggling music ministry.
Wednesday was the beginning of a different string of events. When our son dropped a very large mirror on a cord that was plugged into an electrical outlet, it sent a wave of sparks alongside the entire house in about 30 seconds. Knowing that a fire could wipe everything in a matter of minutes we immediately shut down the main breaker and then checked every outlet for smoke or fire. Eight outlets had to be replaced. As the sixth one was barely finished we ran out of sunlight which forced us to turn the power back on. For the rest of the night we listened for strange cracks and sniffed the air for funny smells. When we tried to turn the air conditioner back on the lights flickered, and the refrigerator compressor surged; so we had to do without cool air for the night.
Thursday, on the way back from San Antonio, our truck blew a tire 50 miles from home and 3 miles from the closest phone. The truck had to stay on the side of the road for the night and most of the following day because we couldn’t find the right tire. That same night we discovered that the outage had toasted the air conditioner, the computer, and the printer. This is when I sat down to think about our options.
I decided the first priority was to thank God for always working things out for our benefit. Do I usually feel like praising God through my ordeals? Honestly, who feels like praising God at times like these? But, I realized that this is what pleases Him the most. He wants us to express our faith when things look hopeless. He wants us to trust that He has a reason for allowing us to go through hardships. Is this easy? Not initially, but acting in faith energizes you and gives you hope. So, my family and I gathered together and thanked God for the good He was doing that we could not yet see.
In the midst of this‘event-full week’we couldn’t see the good that was coming. By Saturday our truck tire was fixed for next to nothing. The air conditioner was replaced by a better one that our nephew no longer wanted. The printer was exchanged with no questions asked- with money back. And a friend contacted her company’s computer serviceman- who’d just happened to be two blocks away—who immediately dropped by and fixed our computer in less than an hour-at no charge.
Why did things turn around like this? So we could brag on God! God wants people to know that He really does work in mysterious ways. That He is actively involved in our lives and supplies us with all our needs. That He always works things out for the benefit of those who love Him. And that He still performs miracles! We just have to learn to recognize His handiwork. His hand was clearly evident in everything that happened for us during this particular week. And His hand is evident in you life as well. Just look back at the times when‘stuff happened’to you. Who else but God got you through it? He is always watching out for you. So the next time the devil tries to discourage you take out the sword of truth and fight that liar off!
Are you struggling through something? The battles we fight are spiritual as well as physical. The devil attacks our mind with his lies in hopes of beating us up emotionally; he can’t physically hurt us…but the lies he feeds us can. If we don’t learn to control our thoughts, the devil will take control of them and make our life a living hell. Don’t let him beat you up! The way to fight a lie is with the truth. When the devil tries to make us believe that things are never going to get better, we must be armed with the truth that counters the lie. We can let the devil beat us up emotionally or we can believe that God is on our side and will always work things out for our good.
We have a very a powerful weapon at our disposal that is often forgotten on a shelf during times like these. Why do you think the bible is called‘The Sword of the Spirit?’A sword is made to fight. So, get familiar with God’s Word and learn to use it. Believing what is contrary to God’s truth causes us to become frustrated, discouraged and ineffective.
Don’t ever judge the end of the journey by the way it gets started. Praise God loudly when things look their worst. Then watch how God fights the battle for you.