My Adventures Blogs are part of the Adventures in Missions Network of Websites
Over the course of the last six months, I’ve undergone more transition than what I would deem enjoyable. Experiencing ministry position changes, end of a dating relationship, lack of time allowed for long distance friendships, teetering the line of depression, disappointment, and bitterness with a hint of vexation towards God. Pain, rejection, and fear are emotions most human beings desire not to experience during the trajectory of their lives. For me, consequently, the past season was full of these emotions leaving me in a whirlwind of natural highs and the occasional low.
James writes in his epistle, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12).” James refers to those of us who are able to stand in the midst of trial and come out victorious. He believes that God will endow us with His divine favor and protection as we stand against adversity. There are times where we’re in what appears to be God’s perfect will and following him with near-perfect obedience. Nevertheless, we find ourselves walking through the fire of our trials attempting to endure the heat of the flames.
Imagine me lighting a match in sawdust and starting a fire in the middle of the woods. With just the right wind speed I can generate a quickly spreading forest fire or crown fires, the hottest spot being the crown. Due to their ability to burn extremely hot, travel rapidly, and quick change in direction, this makes crown fires extremely dangerous, causing all wildlife and human life to perish if caught in the middle.
Let’s consider the hardest part of any difficult situation or circumstance for a believer being the crown of the fire or the point where one feels that turning away from God or repositioning themselves elsewhere would be better suited. Anything to stop the burning, the lack of comfort, the pain, the defeat, and the rejection. Contrary to our belief, the crown of the fire is where we’re able to find sweet victory and become a purer reflection of Christ to others, despite the desire to stay clear of it.
Ponder this for a moment, what if certain situations in our lives remained unchanging because when a trial heads straight towards us we deem ourselves defeated instead of victorious before we even walk through the flames? We place down our armor in surrender, rather than attempting to fight the good fight of faith. What does that say about our trust and hope found in the Father? Do we truly believe that He is good?
God desires us to use our trials for His glory, and sometimes that means allowing Him to purify our hearts and motives. Unfortunately, purification is quite uncomfortable, but God doesn’t place anything on us that we are unable to bear. He will always provide us with a way to endure hardship for His namesake. We decide whether to follow Him fully or to walk in our own direction. He will not choose for us.
The Lord revealed new insight as to why it was essential to walk through the refinement and the fire of my past season. My current positioning is necessary. God has me right where He wants me. Only here can I truly flourish in my God-given calling.
Maybe he didn’t intend me to undergo all the tribulations and experiences I’ve had over the years. Although, the lack of righteous decision-making can create self-inflicted hardships. While other times, the enemy is fighting against sons and daughters of the King with the intention to annihilate us. Whatever the reasoning behind our trials God will use them, perfectly positioning us in His kingdom.
2018 concluded with brokenness, location changes, anger towards God, the feeling of hopelessness, false-confidence, and a relationship ending. 2019 introduced a fresh perspective and God-inspired confidence. I’ve dusted off the debris from the flames of 2018 and found acceptance of Eswatini being home. Birthed inside of me is a new desire for prayer and God’s word.
We’re only one month and some odd days into this New Year, but I believe that it holds more opportunities and new positioning for me. I believe that to be true for you as well. We don’t always receive what we desire. Still, God’s positioning is always perfect.