Category Archives: Testimony

Refining Moments Don’t Have to be Defining Moments

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And some who are most gifted in the things of God will stumble in those days and fall, but this will only refine and cleanse them and make them pure until the final end of their trials, at God’s appointed time.

Daniel 11:35(TLB)

We’ve all heard stories of famous celebrities and athletes at the pinnacle of their careers, gifted with incredible talent and success, who make reckless decisions causing them to stumble and fall. Like sharks in a feeding frenzy, the media quickly exploits these stories to an audience eager for any morsel of juicy details.

There are even biblical examples from our Superstars of Faith who stumbled:

  • Noah became shamelessly drunk on wine.
  • Abraham doubted God would give him and Sarah a son, so he took matters into his own hands and fathered a child with Hagar.
  • Moses lost his temper and disobeyed God’s instructions, costing him the chance to enter the Promised Land.
  • David committed adultery and had a man murdered to cover up his transgression.
  • Peter denied that he ever knew Christ.

We don’t have to be famous to find ourselves in the same types of situations.

We’re all imperfect humans, capable of missteps along the way. Our mistakes aren’t always reported in the judgmental view of the public eye or recorded in the Bible for generations of people to read, but we often find ourselves under the microscope of shame in our own eyes, feeling completely defined by our failures.

For believers, God uses these painful experiences to refine us.

The industrial process of refinement takes a substance with imperfections and impurities, purifying it to its most usable form. The spiritual process of refinement works the same way, only God purifies our lives to bring us to our most usable form for His kingdom.

Refinement removes our impurities.

When we emerge on the other side of the refinement process, we are cleansed and polished, more perfectly suited for God’s call on our lives. Without the cloudy imperfections, we shine for God’s glory!

As children of God, our Refining Moments don’t have to be our Defining Moments.

Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Peter are famous for their faithfulness to God and their work in His kingdom ~ NOT for their failures. Their Refining Moments were not their Defining Moments!

God promises that He can make all things – even our failures – work together for good in the lives of His children. (Romans 8:28) He wants to use every detail of our story for His glory ~ even the times when we stumble and fall.

 

Related Scripture:

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. 1 Peter 1:7 – 9 (MSG)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)

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Your Extraordinary Destiny

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Extraordinary Destiny

 

“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful
when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”  
Romans 8:28 (VOICE)
 

What an amazing vision of your future ~ the overwhelming hardships you have experienced could very well be preparing you for your “extraordinary destiny!” God promises His children that He can use everything to work toward something good and beautiful if we live according to His plan ~ Yes, He can even use the bad, ugly, painful, and heartbreaking things that happen to us.

When you completely trust God… and not in life’s treasures…you allow the Master Craftsman to use each event in your life to create a glorious masterpiece.  Like threads in a tapestry, He can weave your defeats, your struggles, your heartache, your pain, your loss, your trials, your rejection, and even your shameful mistakes into a rich, beautiful, one-of-a-kind design.

No one else has walked in your shoes. Your experiences are completely unique to you. Will you accept God’s invitation to launch into your extraordinary destiny by allowing Him to orchestrate something good and beautiful from your personal life experiences?

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
  • “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.  In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” Isaiah 38:17 (NIV)
  • “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

Your Family History

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I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

What we have heard and known,

What our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children,

We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,

His power, the wonders he has done…

Which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children…

So the next generations would know them,

Even the children yet to be born,

And they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God

And would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Psalm 78: 2b-7 (NIV)

 

Every family has a story. The threads of your family’s story are woven together like a richly adorned tapestry, from one generation to the next. It is important to pass down your family history so that your children, grandchildren…and even the children yet to be…will know the roots from which they are born and the foundation upon which their lives are built.

More importantly, children need to hear their parents and grandparents discuss the evidence of God’s hand upon their lives. They need to hear the stories of the wondrous ways in which God has intervened for their family and the miracles that He has performed in their behalf. Hearing your discussion about God’s provision, protection, healing, guidance and love is a verbal affirmation of His significance in your life. Your testimony is vital to helping your children place their trust in God.

How will your children ever know this information

about their heritage if you don’t share it with them personally?

In the Old Testament there are many accounts concerning the “family history” of the Children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, and their story is recorded for us to read.  God knew the importance of this type of storytelling, and He gave the Children of Israel specific instructions concerning this, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”  (Deuteronomy 11: 18 – 21)

As children of God, we are also part of this family, and we too can learn from these accounts. Not only do the stories include examples where God blessed those who followed His commands, but likewise there are many narratives explaining the consequences His people suffered when they failed to obey God’s commands. We learn from both examples. God gave clear instructions about how His people should live, and He told them,  “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)

Not only will your children benefit from hearing about the times God has blessed you for your obedience, but they can also learn from your mistakes.  There may be examples in your life where you chose a path which led you away from God.  Perhaps you suffered consequences as a result of those choices.  Sharing these types of stories with your children will help prevent them from making the same types of mistakes in their own lives.  It will also help them remember the importance of following God’s plan for their lives, so that they can avoid the pitfalls which come from following a different path.  It’s possible that your story might even provide a roadmap back to God if your child has veered from His path.

The example you set for your children will be the one they follow in passing this legacy down to their children…and all the children of your family yet to be born.  Remember the grand purpose of these types of discussions:  to help your children place their trust in God, to understand His vital role in their lives, and to remember the wondrous ways He has intervened in their lives.  The results will go down in eternal history!