Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"In the Fires"

"In the Fires"

   "Glorify ye the Lord in the fires" (Isaiah 24:15).

    Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ possess the capacity to honor God in all things and at all times, as led and enabled by the Holy Spirit.  In times of pleasant experiences, we acknowledge our Heavenly Father as the the Giver of "every good gift and every perfect gift" (James 1:17).  Thereby we give Him much glory in accordance with His gracious kindness and generosity.  "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).  Indeed, Scripture declares that "God loveth a cheerful giver" because He is Himself the most cheerful of givers (II Corinthians 9:7).   However, painful times - "the fires" - provide perhaps the greatest opportunity to glorify our Lord as we bear witness to the extent of His goodness and greatness in the midst of challenges that confront our emotional and physical sensibilities.

    It is one thing to trust and magnify the generous Hand of God.  It is another to trust and magnify the mysterious Way of God in times when His loving wisdom determines or allows difficulty.  Choices of faith and submission must be made that run counter to our fleshly perceptions and impulses.  The flesh that "lusteth against the spirit" would lead us to worry, complain, speak, and act in a manner that fails to "give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name" (Psalm 29:2).  The Holy Spirit works in us with far greater power to trust, praise, and act in faith.  However, such a response does not just happen.  We must believe that through Christ we can face adversity in a God-honoring manner.   We then determine to avail ourselves of the grace that transforms possibility into actuality.  Subsequently, fires in our lives brilliantly illuminate our testimony of God's presence, provision, and power to endure.

    It is not easy to "glorify ye the Lord in the fires."  By ourselves, it is not even possible.  However, through the Christ who so honored His Father on the cross, we can also bear witness to the God who is always more than we need Him to be in every circumstance, condition, and situation.  What a privileged opportunity and responsibility, and what joyful purpose awaits us as we honor our Lord in the fires that illuminate Him of whom the Psalmist declared…

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
(Psalm 46:1)
"Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."
(Daniel 3:24-25)

Weekly Memory Verse(s)
    "Without Me, ye can do nothing… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
(John 15:5; Philippians 4:13)

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