by Ralph Bouma
And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness (Malachi 3:3).
I don't tell the Lord what I need anymore. I have only one request left: Lord, glorify your name.
The hardest part of faith is that last half hour, when the Lord brings it to a climax, when the Lord brings deliverance, which is sometimes so complete and miraculous, and we put no trust in the flesh, knowing the deliverance is from the Lord. When you don't have an answer left, then the Lord comes.
We see this in Matthew 26:38: "Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me." The Lord teaches us a lot about prayer here and what happens when we come into a trial.
In his hour of confusion David said in Psalm 143:3: "For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate."
Job said in Job 9:11: "Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not."
In his night of confusion David said in Psalm 51:10-11: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me." He was down to where he could see there was only one way he could have salvation, and that was from the Lord.
This refiner's fire also includes an hour of isolation. Have we ever had that, where we feel forsaken by every human being, and then it seems that we have been forsaken by the Lord? Hear what our lovely Saviour said when He was isolated in Matthew 27:45-46: "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
The Lord Jesus Christ was made to be sin for us, and the Lord is holy. He cannot look upon sin or the sinner. Jesus came to take the penalty for sin, and He was forsaken by His Father. He was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Do you understand that sometimes we must feel that we are forsaken? We have to learn to see the sinfulness of sin. We have to learn why the Lord looks and turns His back. It is because of sin. Now He can only look upon it in that finished work of Christ.
Job said in Job 23:8-10: "Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
If you ever talk to a Christian who says he has never been forsaken by the Lord, that he has never felt the Lord withdraw Himself, then he is very shallow. He has never really understood the refiner's fire. Because when the Lord comes, and when the fire is in its maximum heat, we will be like Job. We can go forward, but He is not there. We can go backward, but we cannot perceive Him. He withdraws from us even as He withdrew from His own Son—that He might teach us the sinfulness of sin. Amen.
Hail, Thou once despised Jesus!
Hail, Thou Galilean King!
Thou didst suffer to release us;
Thou didst free salvation bring.
Hail, Thou agonizing Saviour,
Bearer of our sin and shame!
By Thy merits we find favor;
Life is given thru Thy name.
Source: Devotions from Gospel Chapel
Suffering with the King by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
We are not made for pain; we are made for happiness. But recoiling from the cross, as it natural, we can yet rejoice in the carrying of it, but it must be for his sake, I mean, to be like Christ, and so we with him, he in us and we in him.
Others have suffered too
One of the things the devil delights to do is to persuade us that the trial we are going through is unique. When you come in contact with others in the family of God you begin to see that it is just not true. You rub shoulders with people you know suffered extremely painful experiences - experiences more distressing than you have ever faced. Yet they still continue to sing God's praises.
11 Ways Jesus Speaks into Your Sorrow
Many experiences can leave you struggling with deep sorrow. You may often find that the people around you simply don't know what to say to you in your sorrow. But Jesus does.
Suffering | General Sermons | Lectionary Sermons | Spiritual/Moral Articles | Malankara World Journal | Malankara World Library
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