Thursday, August 12, 2010

TAKE HOLD OF YOUR TRIAL BY FAITH

If we didn’t have conflict, pressure, trials, wars, we would become passive and lukewarm. Decay would set in and our temple would lie in ruins. We wouldn’t be able to handle the territory we’ve gained. That’s why the enemy’s plan against us is clear: He wants to take us out of the battle. His aim is to remove all the fight from us.

We find all our resources for maintenance—strength to go on, power over the enemy—in our spiritual battles. And on that day when we stand before the Lord, he will reveal to us: “Do you remember what you went through on that occasion? And in that awful battle? Look at what you accomplished through it all. It was all secured through the battles you won.”

The simple fact is, God has put his treasure in human bodies. He has made you a temple, a house for his Spirit to dwell in. And you have a responsibility to maintain that temple. If you become lazy and careless, neglecting the maintenance work needed—regular prayer, feeding on God’s Word, fellowshipping with the saints—decay will set in. And you’ll end up in absolute ruin.

As I look back on my own fifty years of ministry, I recall many times when it would have been easy for me to quit. I would pray, “Lord, I don’t understand this attack. Where did it come from? And when will it end? I don’t see any purpose in it at all.” But over time, I began to see fruit from those trials. And that fruit—resources, strength, spiritual wealth—supplied me in a way I couldn’t have gotten through any other means.

I urge you: Take hold of your trial by faith, and believe God has allowed it. Know that he’s using it to make you stronger…to help you take spoils from Satan...to make you a blessing to others…and to sanctify it all to his glory.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things that are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).