Friday, July 5, 2013

Burned by the flames of circumstance

1 Corinthians 1: 7-9 (MSG) “Just think—you don't need a thing, you've got it all! All God's gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.””

Paul wrote the book of Corinthians not only to the church at Corinth, but for those of us who have heard God’s voice and have fallen prey to the “lies” this world can dish out. Paul gently and patiently teaches the Corinthian church the truth about living as Christ called us to live and not by the standards of this world.

When reading though Corinthians, I was comforted by the way the Message paraphrases verses 7 – 9. Writers of both the Old and New Testament told us that in this life we would have troubles and trials (see the verses below). But as I read these three verses this morning I was reminded of God’s sovereignty. He is right by our side all day, every day. He is faithful to the promises found in His word and He will NEVER give up on us.

It is so easy to forget this simple truth when you feel like you’re being burned alive by the fire of current circumstances. I know I have lost sight of God’s sovereignty a time or two. We must remember that through it all, He is there and He cares. It is up to us to keep Him in our focus and not the overwhelming presence of our circumstances.

When was the last time you had a conversation with God or cracked open His Word to find out what He has to say about things? According to 1 Corinthians 1:7 - 9, God shares with us the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. If we share in His life, the Bible says we are to share in His sufferings. Ugh… suffering! That’s tough, but we can have hope knowing God is right there with us. He sees the tears that fall from our eyes and hears us when we call on Him.

Going through tough times? Call on Christ, He will guide your path. I hope the following scriptures bring you comfort in the midst of whatever "fire" you are going through.

Psalm 23:4 (MSG) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.

1 Peter 1:6-7 (MSG) I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

1 Peter 4:12-13 (MSG) Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.

John 16:31-33 (MSG) Jesus answered them, "Do you finally believe? In fact, you're about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world (emphasis mine)."

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