WHERE DO YOU TURN FOR ENCOURAGEMENT?
Where can you find Christians wholly devoted to the Lord who have an easy, trouble-free life? Show me a Spirit-led, God-filled, anointed servant of the Lord, and I'll show you one who is chased, chastened, often baffled, and familiar to deep waters and fiery furnaces.
Those who seek to avoid difficulties seldom get the revelation of God's fullness. They attempt to use faith to exempt themselves from crisis, not realizing they are robbing themselves of the greatest opportunity to find out what is really in them. Then one day when trouble can no longer be avoided, they cave in, having no proven source of inner strength.
Paul wrote, "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16).
These days the Lord needs Christians who are not tossed about by every wind and wave of doctrine; who are not being made merchandise of; who have discernment and are not being deceived; who need no special teacher with some new revelation; who do not need a human shepherd to guide their every step; who do not have to depend on someone else for their happiness or spiritual strength—but who have been tested and tried and have proven that the very life of God is in them, providing grace and mercy to help in every need. Christ has been revealed not only to them, but in them. They are drawing on the strength of their inner man, according to the riches of His glory.
We can learn valuable lessons from King David's experience at Ziklag. "David encouraged himself in the Lord" (1 Samuel 30:6). It is imperative that we learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord because of the troubled times just ahead.
Brothers, sisters in Christ, I beseech you in the name of the Lord, to open your eyes to the mighty power of God at work in you, and to appropriate the fullness and completeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what fiery furnace we may be cast into, our supreme Lord will walk us through it.