Wednesday, September 14, 2011

God is Felt in the Midst of this Fiery Trial

I received this very encouraging email from a member of our congregation about how they have turned and trusted in God every step of the way during a recent fiery trial.  I pray that it also encourages you:

Dear Rick,

At the start of your message today on fiery trials I looked at my husband and the tears were just flowing down my cheeks. I said to him, “I’m not sure I can listen to this.”

Your message today was spot on and, while painful at first to reflect on, was a salve to our very raw and tender hearts. This medical crisis of my husband's health has been the toughest trial we have ever faced in 29 years of marriage.

When my dad was sick and dying, I spent a lot of time wrestling with God in prayer asking him “Why?” My dad was such a wonderful father and a faithful Christian. I was angry with God for allowing my dad to suffer so much. It took me a long time to understand that God is no less who He says He is just because He didn’t heal my dad in this life. I know now that the ultimate healing comes from being released into God’s eternal rest. And I am grateful that I know where my dad is and that I will one day be reunited with him. I learned through that trial that God never promised me that the people I love would not become sick or die.

I am grateful for the lessons I learned during THAT time because they prepared me for this current season of illness. This fiery trial is so hard and so painful that without knowing God’s promises I’m not sure I would have been able to survive this mentally and emotionally.

It is so important to actually know what God promises versus what He doesn’t. There were several times that I just repeated to myself over and over that God promised me that I would never have to walk through trials alone, that His grace is sufficient for all of my needs and He would never give me more than I could bear.

So many times I hear people mistakenly attribute to God what they think He should be or what He should do. And it makes me sad for them because they miss out on the joy of knowing that God is sovereign and capable of getting us through the hard times in our lives. God is who He is. And because He is a holy and just God He always fulfills His promises to us. He cannot do otherwise.

With every fiber of my being I have clutched and clung to His promises which have been an anchor for me, securing my soul from crashing onto the rocks of bitterness and disappointment. In the midst of this storm I have cried out to Him asking for Him to help me see Him and He has done exactly that. Every time I needed Him to show Himself He made His presence known, reassuring me through His word and His people that I am not alone.

I truly loved that you reminded us that God is our Emmanuel. That perfectly sums up God’s presence in the midst of this fiery trial. It is exactly what He is and what He has promised us that He will be - God with us, God for us and God before us.

Thank you so much for sharing this message which I sincerely hope touched many lives with its truth. Both my husband & I came away this morning with renewed hope of God’s assurances during this season in our lives. We are blessed and grateful that God’s mercies are indeed fresh & new every morning.

Held tightly in His grip...

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