Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Testing of Your Faith

As I was once again seeking the Lord this morning, about the amount of suffering, sorrows and trials that seem to be overwhelming myself and the women who have contacted me, I feel the Lord brought me to 1 Peter and ministered to my heart. I pray it does the same for you.

I asked Him why I seemed to 'faint' in the battle? Why I am overwhelmed when the flood comes in? Why I can't seem to stand upright and feel as though I am always going under and can't even see Him in the middle of the mess? When I come out of it, then I see Him, and I see the foolishness of my thinking. I see the doubt and fear, but not when I am gasping for air as the waves are sweeping over me.

I read a devotional based on the verse, "without a vision the people perish" and it said, 'faith must first have visions: faith is always born of vision and hope! We must have the gleam of the thing hoped for shining across the waste before we can have an energetic and energizing faith. . . We need a transformation in "the things hoped for" . . .we need to be renewed in mind, and renewed in mind daily."

I believe these verse helped to 'renew my mind' as to the purpose of these trials and the hope we have in Christ.
( I am going to turn the words around to speak to you)

You were chosen and foreknown by God the Father and consecrated by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and to be sprinkled with [His] blood: May grace (spiritual blessing) and peace be given you in increasing abundance [that spiritual peace to be realized in and through Christ, freedom from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts].

Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy you have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Born anew into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are being guarded by God's power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

You should be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,

So that the genuineness of your faith may be tested, your faith which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. This proving of your faith is intended to redound to your praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed

Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.

[At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

You must know that you were redeemed from the useless way of living inherited by tradition from your forefathers, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold,

But you were purchased with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a sacrificial lamb without blemish or spot.

SO, SINCE Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God. For whoever has suffered in the flesh having the mind of Christ is done with intentional sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],

So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but he lives for what God wills.

Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.

But insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].

Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset--rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you. (Yeah!!)

To Him be the dominion, power, authority, rule forever and ever. Amen.

If you would like to read these scriptures without all my passion and 'emphasis added', they can be found in 1 Peter 1, 1 Peter 4 and 1 Peter 5.


rebecca said...

This post and the previous about struggling are so encouraging to me at this very moment. I am usually on the verge of tears because at times everything is all so overwhelming. However, I know that I serve an awesome God who is always beside me and will see me through the highs and the lows of life.
Thank you for these Scriptures and again praying for those of us your readers.
God Bless,

Julie Rodgers said...

Michelle, I have been reading your blog and am so richly blessed by it!! This post especially encouraged me and my daughter today. May the Lord bless you!!!