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Wise Counsel - Dealing With Fiery Trials
by Pastor Bobby Keating
9/01/2008 / Christian Living
Often, as a Pastor, I am called upon to counsel others who are experiencing trials of life. This is often a very difficult thing to do. I find that the only way that I can truly advise others is by leaning heavily on God's Word and the strength that I know to be Christ.
This post is not about giving advice. It seems as though everyone has advice (good and/or bad) at the ready to solve everyones problems and dilemmas.This post deals with a more profound area of endeavor. This post is about taking advice.
Recently both my mother and my brother were critically ill and in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) of a regional hospital. I was bouncing from bed three to bed nine, trying to keep one from knowing that the other was in critical condition. I was in a much different but critical situation. The stress was beginning to take it tole on me. My brother's wife and children were looking to me for guidance and comfort. My sister and aunt were looking to me for guidance and comfort and I was being drained of every ounce of energy, physical and spiritual, that I could muster.
I remember so many times having to counsel others in similar situations but there was no other human being who was there to counsel me in my stress and frustration. I took my own advice that I had given so many times to others. I turned to prayer and to God's Holy Word.
I turned to 1 Peter 1:5-7 which says, " who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,"
God's Magnificent Spirit spoke to my spirit, reminding me that every trial and temptation that I would encounter in this physical world was nothing more than a 'fiery trial' of my faith. The enemy will come in during these trying and stressful times and try to kill my faith. He will whisper,"Where is God now when you need Him most? Why doesn't He answer your prayers and do for you what He has done for all of those for whom you have prayed? Why does He leave you to suffer? Aren't you a 'good' Christian?"
All of these things were there to weaken my faith, to challenge me and dishearten me. God's Spirit spoke to my spirit. " the genuineness of your faith, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." How is my fretting and worrying about the condition of my loved ones honoring and praising and bringing glory to Christ?
I began to rejoice in the opportunity to win this challenge. I began to praise God and thank Him for His strength and guidance. I began to rely on Him and to 'TRUST' His love and compassion. His plan is the ultimate and perfect plan. Whatever He was going to do would be perfect. I could literally feel the stress leave me. I could sense the enemy's frustration. I began to understand that God was most definitely in control and all I needed to do was praise Him and trust Him and not myself.
My brother passed away. He was very sick, and had been for a long time. He was a born again Christian - I led him in the prayer of salvation only a few months earlier. God's Holy Spirit guided me to realize that Carl had won the victory. He was were I want to be - in the presence of God. He was no longer suffering. He had definitely won the battle. My heart rejoiced for my brother's victory.
My mother began to recover from her 'critical' status. Several days later I was able to bring her home. I do not understand why God took my 50 year old brother and spared my eighty two year old mother who has Alzheimer's disease. I know, though, that His plan is perfect in every way. I love Him even more deeply now. He allowed me to win a victory in my faith. He made me a stronger individual because I chose to praise Him and give Him the glory for His work.
When you are faced with these fiery trials in life (and you will), trust that God knows what is best. Know that this is nothing more than a test of your faith. You will win the victory.
Pastor Bobby Keating is an Evangelist, author, teacher, success coach, and Director of The Christian Success Institute. He has a passion to help others become Successful Christians. Pastor Bobby's Blog (http://pastorbobby.com).He offers a free marketing mini course at http://christianvisionary.com
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