Could God trust me to still be faithful to him after he gives me the desires of my heart? Building trust takes time. The Lord is getting ready to move some mountains in our lives, because the time is short before his return. My desire is to do God’s will. There is no backing down or turning back, I am committed to step out in faith and trust God.
To be half-committed is no commitment at all.
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction….Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go” (Isaiah 48:10, 17).
The Lord has brought us through trial after trial and we are still here, learning to trust him, seek him, and believe him. It doesn’t matter that we have had some challenges to face this year; sometimes we may have felt like quitting the race. We have continued to give sacrificially. Looking back on this past year, I have come to understand that anything that we have sacrificed pales in comparison to what Jesus Christ did at Calvary. The only thing that does matter, in the end, is the realization that we made it by keeping the faith, leaning on the Lord, and trusting in his holy word, because he’s never failed us yet! He is faithful. Keep holding on to his promise and you will see your prayers answered in the very near future.
Backing out of the race isn’t an option, nor is focusing on all of the things that didn’t go well this past year. What can we do? We can look at our situation through God’s eyes to gain a totally different perspective. We can learn how to be thankful for the many times the Lord has spared our lives from tragedy: not everyone can say that. We can be thankful for every day that the Lord gives us strength, wisdom, and the willpower to complete any task that he sets before us. We can’t measure our successes using the same yardstick that the world uses, but we can thank the Lord for leading us through the “furnace of affliction.” Did I read this right? Affliction?
It’s true; the Lord selects us from the “furnace of affliction” so that we can declare his glory. He wants us to fully commit our lives to his service, not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but because we love Him, and we want to serve Him to the uttermost. The question we should be asking ourselves is: can we be trusted? The Lord would share so much more with us if we could be trusted to handle both the good and the bad without panicking every step of the way.
The Israelites would have had “peace as a river” if they had “hearkened to the commandments” of the Lord, but they chose to worry and disobey instead. They wanted the peace but not the commitment that comes with serving God completely. Instead of “righteousness as the waves of the sea,” they sold out for half-hearted worship. Instead of trusting God so that their seed also had been as the sand, they were destined to walk the sands in the wilderness and eventually to have their name cut off and destroyed from the Lord (Isaiah 48:18-19).
There is a price to pay for commitment, but if you want the Lord to “teach you how to profit” you’ll be willing to pay that price, after all, hasn’t he paid a greater price for your salvation?
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
“Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thine might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
Finding Strength “In Quietness and Confidence”
Isn’t it nice to have a God who knows when we have had quite enough of the front lines of battle, and he offers a respite away from the mangled crowds who are angry with demands from you. The Lord carries us to a secret place filled with his glory so that we might worship. When Moses was on the mountain to meet with God, nothing really changed about his situation in the valley. The Israelites were still murmuring and complaining. Those ungrateful people had the nerve to want to go back to Egypt to eat onions and garlic.
No, Moses’ situation didn’t change, but after a time of communion with the Lord, Moses changed, and that made all the difference in his life of leadership.
Did he still have to deal with people and situations? Yes, and did he still make mistakes, yes, but he knew that he had met with God and so he approached the monumental task, in quietness and confidence, that he was commissioned to do. We have a monumental task, today, serving Jesus Christ in a sin-cursed world that doesn’t always receive us or God’s message of truth and life. Do we run? No. We keep moving forward in quietness and confidence” that no matter how our situation may turn out, we can trust God to intervene on our behalf and for our good.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:” (Isaiah 30:15).
When I read this verse the phrase “in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” jumped out at me. Lord, do you mean to tell me that if I stay quiet when situations arise, and remain confident that you are in control of my circumstance, that my act of obedience to your word, will give me strength to endure? It got my attention! But, then I read the rest of the verse—“and ye would not” I wasn’t prepared for the reality check, here.
If we are honest with ourselves, I think we could say that sometimes we all yell when we don’t get our way (maybe not audibly but certainly in the way that we approach God). In my deepest thoughts, I rehash some old hurt or battle, or I lash out in anger and think that it isn’t fair: YOU said you’d bring it to pass, God; but, HOW LONG DO I have to WAIT, Lord?
Whether it’s out of frustration, fear of the unknown, or pure anxiety, we all have felt inadequate at times, but if I’ll learn how to remain quiet and confident that the Lord is blessing me, I can trust that the Lord is working everything out for my good. He said that I was supposed to thank him at ALL times: not only when I feel like it, or if it’s convenient; or only if I feel good; or if another saint obeys God first, and worships; but at all times.
I have to remember that when people reject me; he was rejected first; when I become sick; he has already taken stripes on his back for my healing; when I am in despair, he’s already taken the chastisement of our peace upon himself. When I fail; he is ready to forgive me and help me to repent. I must purpose in my heart to do his will because Jesus loves me, and I don’t pretend to understand why, but he does. When I think about his sacrifices for me, I can’t help but keep a song of praise on my lips at all times.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:3-5). Lift Him up.
Click on this week’s Lattereign, below to find out how to give God your best.
It’s Time to Give God our Best