I have been in the hospital for the last couple of days facing a brain tumor, therefore I have not been able to post any articles lately. However, I am feeling well this morning. It is amazing! I feel the need to try to get some of the posts that I have pending to be reviewed in my back office for this series, scheduled to go out. This series is so appropriate for the battle that I am facing so I need to do this for me. Fear and worry have most certainly come against me when facing some thing as scary as a brain tumor the size of a golf ball in my head, but I am NOT afraid.
Today’s post is an on time word for me. While I don’t think God put this tumor on me, I believe He can use this seemingly awful situation and turn it for good, I know He can use it to grow me in my faith, trust, confidence, maturity in Christ, to be a witness to others; whatever He chooses to do in and through this situation I know He has a mighty plan that I don’t see clearly, but I trust His Faithfulness with all of my heart. I have the peace of God and I am positive that this too will bring our Lord glory. I may suffer but I will still praise Him, expect a miracle, and share His Word. Please keep my family and I lifted up. Here’s day 21 in the series;
“As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”
Hebrews 12:7, 11-13 (Amplified Bible)
The definition for discipline is:
1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement. 2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.
Our Heavenly Father uses trials, testing, and hardships as divine discipline or training to produce in us godly living and Christ-like character, and also to prepare us for our callings. Even those terrible attacks the enemy will try to use to destroy us or those bad things which happen in life that we just don’t understand; God turns for our good using each circumstance as an opportunity to help us mature in our Christianity. He did it for Joseph, Jacob’s son, the dreamer who was sold into slavery by his own brothers.
I’ll give you the very short version of what happened to Joseph. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and they intended to rid themselves of him forever; so they sold him into slavery. He suffered loneliness, betrayal, and sadness. While Joseph was in slavery God never left him. He gave him favor, wisdom, and prophetic dreams with the gift of interpretation. He used these giftings to lift Joseph up to a position of authority and prominence in Egypt.
Many years later a famine hit the land and the only place to find grain was in Egypt. Joseph’s family goes to Egypt to buy food. Joseph forgives his brothers and the family is reunited. In the end Joseph looked back at his life and finally understood why God allowed everything to happen the way it did. It was so He could use Joseph to save the lives of many, including his own family. (Genesis 50:20)
Now I want to take you to some scriptures our Lord brought me to and showed me specifically how He uses life’s troubles to do the following:
- Humble us and to prove our character (mature our character)
- To see whether we will keep His commandments or not
- To teach us to rely on His Word.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 covers these first 3 lessons.
“ Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” (NLT) (emphasis mine)
- To test the genuineness of our faith
1 Peter 1:6-7 “[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, So [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.” (Amplified Bible) (emphasis mine)
- To reveal or demonstrate to us the true quality of what’s in our hearts.
2 Chronicles 32:31 “However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.” (NLT) (emphasis mine)
- To teach us patient endurance.
- To increase our joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Romans 5:3-4 “Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.” (Amplified Bible) (emphasis mine)
- To develop steadfastness and Christ-like character
James 1:2-4 “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. 4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.” (Amplified Bible) (emphasis mine)
It can be difficult while we are going through these holy trials and tribulations. But we must remember, our divine God sees the future and He has always had good plans for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11) These scriptures confirmed to me trials and testing are meant to test the reality of our faith and produce the likeness of Christ in us. They are meant to bring out the best in us, if we will allow them to. It’s part of our remolding and refining process. So let us not lose hope when our heavenly Father lovingly trains us up.
As I write this I am reminded of when our Heavenly father told the prophet Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So Jeremiah did as He told him and Jeremiah found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so the potter crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Brothers and sisters, God is our potter and I believe the Lord is saying to us today,
“Can I not do with you as the potter does? (Jeremiah 18:6)
Let’s allow Him to continue the good work He has started in us and trust Him in the middle of the remolding process. (Philippians 1:6)
Lord as we go through this remolding process and training, remind us you are with us, give us an extra out pouring of your grace. Help us to realize deep down we are going to come out of this stronger, wiser, and more prepared for the future; better equipped for our destiny in Christ. Let us not resist your training but let us humble ourselves under your mighty hand. Train us, teach us, correct, comfort, and renew us Lord. We long to grow in Christ and in the knowledge of you and your will. “In Jesus’ name.” Amen!