“You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance. Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you— yes, the sacred vows that I made when I was in deep trouble. That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you— the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma, and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Interlude” Psalms 66:10-15 NLT
God will use the circumstances of our lives to purge us. A faith that is not tested cannot be trusted. Just as He allowed the children of Israel to endure bondage in Egypt, He will allow us to be placed beneath the burden of situations in our own lives. God sees the beginning and the end of our lives. He has the past, present, and future in His hand. He is timeless! In His absolute wisdom He utilizes the events of our lives to take us to a place that we, otherwise, would not know. The process can be painful. The pain can be almost unbearable. The strain can be disorienting. In the midst of our adversity we can become disillusioned and discouraged. We wonder if He has somehow turned His back or forgotten us. No! He will never forsake His child! “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”” Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT (See also Hebrews 13:5). “...And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b NLT He is actively working on our behalf. “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 God will bring us through the fire and the flood! He will give us the days of abundance. Don't doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light. The darkness must pass. Until we get home we will have to contend with the changes of this uncertain life. What we must keep our focus on is our unchanging God!!! He is the same throughout all ages. “I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.” Malachi 3:6 NLT He is faithful. He will not fail us. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NLT Jesus is with us. Therefore, we need not fear. Everything will be ok. The circumstances can never be greater than Him! Place your burden on Him. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT Lastly, when He brings you out of the horrible pit of despair, take the opportunity to fulfill the vow you made Him when you cried out to Him in desperation. How many people have called out to God for rescue in the midst of despair? How many of them have kept the promise they made to God, when they were in that pit, after their circumstances normalized? We must never forget the great things He has done for us. We must offer Him our very best, our very lives! God is not a vending machine that dispenses what we want when we want it. He isn't a spare tire that gets us out of a breakdown. God is the very fuel and engine that makes our lives run. He is the power that takes us down this road of life. Let's remember that!!
Rev. Curtis Norris