Tag Archives: Trials

Butterfly Wings

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Orange Butterfly dry brush copy

“Yet God has made everything beautiful in its own time.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a (NLT)

The wondrous transformation of a grubby caterpillar into a graceful butterfly is one of the most fascinating processes in nature.  The last important phase of the complete metamorphosis includes the newly formed butterfly’s struggle to emerge from its gauzy cocoon.  As the new creature works to free itself from the cocoon encasing, fluid is pumped into its delicate wings.  If someone from the outside tries to “help” the butterfly by ripping open the cocoon, the butterfly’s wings will never be fully developed, nor strong enough, for flight.  So the struggle to emerge from its protective covering is perhaps the most critical step in the butterfly’s preparation for its new life of flight.  Without the struggle, the butterfly will never be capable of flight.

Compare this process to your own life.  Are you struggling through some sort of difficulty right now?  At the moment it is impossible to envision any sort of “beauty” that could emerge from the ugliness of your circumstances.  Perhaps you long for an easy way out of your problems.  You wish that someone would come along and make everything “right” again.

But remind yourself that as you work though your challenges, you are becoming stronger.  Your “faith muscles” are being groomed and strengthened.  God will use this hardship to transform your development as a believer, and you will emerge from your trials with stronger faith than you ever would have experienced without the struggle.

Remember that you are not alone during this rough time.  God promises to be with you through every difficult circumstance.  Turn to Him and seek His guidance to help you solve your problems.  Ask Him to give you the strength to endure the trial.  Trust Him completely and know that you will come out on the other side of the challenge as a well-developed child of God, ready to face a new phase in life.

Most of all, remember that God makes everything beautiful in its own time.  Wait patiently to see the beauty that will emerge from your struggles.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.
Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. “
James 1:2-4 MSG
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When We Face Fiery Trials

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If we are thrown into the blazing furnace,

the God we serve is able to save us from it.

Daniel 3:17

 

How many times have you been through “fiery trials” in life?  Do you possess the kind of faith that allows you to say that the God you serve is able to save you from a blazing furnace? 

Three young men in the Bible had faith to believe that our God could save them from the fate of a blazing furnace.  Because they would not bow down to worship a 90’ tall golden image, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that they be thrown into a flaming furnace for punishment.   This blazing furnace was a huge industrial size furnace, possibly used for baking bricks or smelting metals.  The king had ordered that it be heated seven times hotter than normal to assure that no one could survive this fatal punishment.  In fact, the temperatures were so intensely hot that its fiery blast killed soldiers who went close to the opening.  In spite of this, the three young men proclaimed, if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it.”  (Daniel 3:17 NIV)

Per the king’s orders, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were tied up tightly and thrown into the blazing furnace.  Miraculously, they survived their intended fate without any harm.  In amazement, the king himself actually witnessed a heavenly visitor walking around in the flames with them:  “He said, ‘Look!  I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like the Son of God.’”  (Daniel 3: 25 NIV)

Notice this important fact:  God showed up right in the midst of their fiery trial.  He preserved their lives and walked along beside them, comforting them throughout their frightening ordeal.  He protected them from harm, and He made His presence known to them.

Upon seeing this miraculous event, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered the three young “servants of the Most High God” to come out of the blazing furnace.   All the royal advisors crowded around as well, and “They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair on their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.”  (Daniel 3:27 NIV) These young men had been completely untouched by the fire and heat!  You can’t even sit around a camp fire without your clothes and hair smelling like smoke!  The only things that had burned in the fire were the ropes that bound them, proving that no human can bind us if God wants us free.

The same God who preserved the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego inside the flaming furnace can save you from your own problems.  What type of fiery trial are you facing today?  Your extreme difficulty may be in the form of a

  • tragic accident,
  • critical illness,
  • financial crisis,
  • violent crime,
  • disabling condition,
  • broken relationship,
  • troubled child,
  • loss of a job,
  • loss of a loved one, or
  • devastation from a storm.

No matter what you are up against in life, the God we serve is able to save you right in the midst of your “blazing furnace.”

Many times we wonder why God didn’t prevent the fiery trial in the first place.  We might become angry, bitter, resentful or depressed about the fact that God allowed something terrible to happen in our lives.  Yet the miracle that God performs in your life when He brings you through a time of extreme difficulty has an amazing impact on others as a testimony of God’s greatness.  It also strengthens your own faith like nothing else can and draws you closer to God than you ever would have been otherwise.  God’s protection in times of great trouble transcends anything we could imagine.   If God always prevented believers from enduring any type of problem in life, Christians would not need faith.  We should be faithful to serve God whether He intervenes in our lives or not.

If you are a child of God who finds yourself in the midst of a fiery trial today, look for God’s presence right there beside you.  The same power that delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the blazing furnace also parted the Red Sea and raised Jesus from the dead.  That same power can deliver you from whatever you are facing.  Trust God in every situation in life and realize that there are eternal reasons for temporary trials.

Be thankful that your destiny is in the divine hands of God!

“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

 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

 

Thanks for everything

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At all times and for everything give thanks

in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Ephesians 5:20 AMP

It is sometimes impossible to think about “giving thanks” to God in life’s darkest moments. During times of difficulty or tragedy, a thankful thought is the last thing on your mind. Perhaps you are dealing with a health crisis, or relational difficulties with a troubled teen, or marital strife, or oppressive financial burdens, or the death of a loved one, or the pain from broken heart. Regardless of the problem, this verse instructs us to “give thanks.” These types of problems fall under the broad umbrella of “At all times and for everything.”

Instead of thanking God for your problem, thank Him for the strength he is building in you through this difficult experience. Give thanks to Him for the dependency He is building in you to rely on Him for that divine strength. Thank Him for the growth in your personal relationship with Him that this particular experience is developing in you. Thank Him for His faithfulness to fulfill His precious promises to you. Romans 8:28 tells us that in all things God works for our good if we love him and are called according to his purpose. In the midst of a life storm, it is hard to see how any good can come from devastation. Trust God that He is true to His word. And that someday a harvest of “good” will come from this trial.

Also, in 2 Corinthians 12:9 He gives us another assurance: “My grace is sufficient. My power is made perfect in weakness.” Even though you may be so low that it is difficult to put one foot in front of the other, believe that God’s power is being perfected in you through this time of weakness.

Trust Him with every aspect of your life, even in the midst of trouble.

Thank Him at all times and for everything…