Thankful Thursday

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trials which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you, but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

FIERY TRIAL

Sisters, I love to travel – especially with my husband. On one occasion we were window-shopping in a Caribbean jewelry store where the owner was aggressively trying to persuade us to purchase a golden tanzanite ring. He lowered his price time and again; he offered a matching bracelet to sweeten the pot; finally he struck up his lighter and passed the ring through the fire.

Being highly unschooled in the testing of jewelry, my husband and I looked quizzically at one another – what was the purpose of passing the ring through fire? We learned that fire is a proven method of testing the strength and authenticity of gold.

Similarly, you and I are passed through the fire to test the strength and authenticity of our faith. Our trials come to prove what we are made of, to show us where we can be better, and to prepare us for the future. When we are in the midst of a fiery trial, it can feel as if there is some strange thing happening to us, but our brother Paul assures us that we are not alone.

Sisters, you and I know that seasons of fiery trial are an inevitable and undeniable part of our journey along this path toward righteousness.

But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”  (Job 23:10)

I heard my beloved brother and elder, Eric Owens, mention that when it comes to trials - we are in one of three positions: we are either currently in a trial, just come out of a trial and in the recovery period, or on our way into the next trial. But praise God that this is not where our story ends! Even in the ‘heat of the battle’ we can find something to rejoice about knowing that our trials are not in vain - all we must do is endure faithfully, and at the end of our tests we get to reap the juicy rewards of spiritual fruit! James tells us that we should rejoice because trials give us an opportunity to develop the virtue of perseverance, which will in turn lead to a mature Christian character.

Here are seven scriptures we can meditate on when we are in the midst of a fiery trial:

1. “And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”  (1 Peter 5:10)
2. [These trials have come] “so that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold refined in the fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”  (1 Peter 1:7)
3. “His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.”  (1 Corinthians 3:13)
4. “For our light affliction which is but for a moment, is producing for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
5. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
6. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
7. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1:2-3)

Today, let’s thank God for our opportunities to be passed through the fire, knowing that even in the heat of it, He has not forsaken us, and that He is pleased to work all things together for our good. Remind us that on the other side of this trial we shall emerge yet stronger in the faith and more refined than ever - gleaming, radiant, and shining forth the Light who lives in us in a way that lights up this world unto the glory of God!

For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” (Psalm 66:10)

• THANK GOD for His Word, for the promises of relief, restoration, and reward at the end of our trials!
• THANK GOD that He has provided a way of escape that we may not be overcome in the heat of the battle!
• THANK GOD for our brothers and sisters who travel this path alongside us; that when one of us rejoices – we all rejoice; that when one of us mourns, we all mourn; that we bear one another’s burdens; we offer a helping hand whenever one falls into the ditch; we edify one another; encourage one another on to good works; we propel one another forward; we have all things in common.
• Finally, THANK GOD for the privilege of prayer afforded to us by faith in Christ Jesus.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, 

We praise You for You are Holy and worthy to be praised. We want to honor You in all ways and we thank You for giving us the opportunity to come to You in prayer. Father, we come to You right now because we are your children and we are hurting; Father we NEED YOU. We desire to represent You well and be pleasing to You in all that we think and do and say, but sometimes we feel that we are flailing and floundering, and it hurts us when we miss the mark. 

Let us remember that You never promised that there wouldn't be difficult times, rather that You have warned us and prepared us for those fiery trials and that although the nights can be dark, long, and cold, that we are never without YOUR support. Teach us to depend on YOU and our fellow brothers and sisters for the edification and renewal that we need.

Lord, bless us with an ever-present perspective of humility; an attitude and frame of mind that considers the depths of sin that YOU have brought us from and the trials You have brought us through, and Your own compassion, tenderness, grace, and mercy toward us during our waywardness, blind ignorance, and obstinate disobedience.

Father, increase our faith and our fruit. Lord, please bless us with the perseverance, strength, restoration and fortification we need to remain diligent in the race even when it is hard and painful; especially in the face of persecution, trial and tribulation. Bless us that we would remember that YOU are our rock and our defense; YOU are our protection therefore we depend on YOU to deliver us, and protect us from evil influence and strengthen us to resist temptation trusting in YOUR promise that as we resist, evil will flee from us.

Father, thank You for making us aware of our habits that are not productive nor pleasing to You and blessing us with the opportunity to repent and replace them with the godly characteristics of Your Holy Spirit. Help us to remember to be tender, patient, kind, merciful, and graceful with ourselves, with our brethren, and our neighbors as You have been toward us. We ask these things in accordance with Your Will for us, in Jesus name, Amen.

~Gyquetta Jackson~


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8 comments

  1. My heart was heavy this morning and I received this email. I felt as though it were a sign for me to not give up. I'm overwhelmed with bills and I have lost sight of God, this message doesn't erase all my worries, but it helps.

    I thank the writer and this ministry for all the good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jackie,
      I thank God for your heartfelt response. Believe me when i tell you that i know what it is like to live and learn through financial woes - not fun.

      The worries of this life can be such a distraction from what is really important. Let me encourage you to remember that your bank account is not a measure of your net worth.
      Keep your eyes on the prize - Christ Jesus.

      Delete
  2. YOU KNOW I FORGET TO PRAY THROUGH MY PAIN AND I NEVER REALLY THANK GOD FOR TOUGH STUFF, MAYBE IF I STARTED BEING MORE THANKFUL I WON'T GO THROUGH SO MUCH TOUGH STUFF. I WILL MAKE EFFORTS TO DO BETTER. PRAY FOR ME PLEASE.

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  3. Dear Anonymous,
    I want you to know that you are not alone. I may not know your name or your pain, but God does, and He cares. Today, I thank Him for your tender heart and committment to seek opportunities to Thank Him, to praise Him - for every little thing. I thank Him for our fellowship today. I thank Him for reminding us that our "tough stuff" provides each of us with opportunities to seek His wisdom, learn, and grow; opportunity to draw nigh unto Him. You are such a blessing and encouragement to me. - Gyquetta

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  4. This right here was soooooooo incredibly timely!!

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  5. The test is what turns into your testimony!!!

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  6. This is so powerful. I thank God for bringing me through my trials. Although I did not see the bigger picture while going through my trials, God has never failed me. Whether your trials are your children, debt, job or medical problems, God will bring you through. I know because I'm a living witness. Just when I thought when things became insurmountable, God started shifting things around in my life. Now I can look back and say I made it through. God is Good...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
    “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

    In the midst of trials, it can be challenging to maintain an attitude of gratitude, but when we remember that each challenge presents an opportunity or a hidden gift, it becomes much easier to find blessings to thank God for.

    When we’re folding the fifteenth load of laundry this week, we can be thankful for plenty of clothes and linen for our family, we can thank God for access to clean water, for the makers of Arm & Hammer washing powder, for the invention of washing machines and dryers, and the presence of loved ones in our midst that we can serve.

    Financial woes may give us the opportunity to thank Him for spiritual lessons like how to be wiser stewards, how to be content with less, how to take one day at a time, how to depend upon God for our sustenance, and how to focus on the good that we do have and appreciate that.

    Workplace woes may provide us the opportunity to thank God that we have opportunity to earn honest wages. We can thank Him for the abilities and skills He has placed within us that enable us to make a positive contribution to our community and the world at large. We can thank Him that with each encounter, for every soul we may influence for the cause of Christ.

    If we are suffering with the heavy grief of loss or physical ailments or illnesses, we can remember that we are not alone. We can thank God for Job’s example of faithful longsuffering: “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head and fell down upon the ground and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job did not sin, nor charge God foolishly.” – Job 1:20-22

    ReplyDelete

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