Thursday, July 21, 2011

31 Days of Victory: {Day 21} Joy in Trials

“Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God.”
Sam Storms

Welcome back to 31 Days of Victory. I’m so glad you’re here!

Yesterday I shared my testimony of two miraculous healings in my life. My hope in telling those stories was to encourage your faith and remind you of the power of prayer. But what happens when we’re in the land between? You know what I’m talking about—the land between Egypt and the promise land. It’s that time of wandering or waiting in what seems like the desert. What about before the healing comes, before God intervenes, before our prayer is answered? Today’s post is all about that season.

Every aspect of my testimony has ended in God’s glorious intervention in some way but it wasn’t always there. There had to be a time when I was in the thick of it in order for it to be a testimony at all. During one of those in-the-thick-of-it times in my life, God showed me a very special passage that changed my view of trials forever…

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds”- James 1:2

Joy can be defined as “a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment—an outward show of pleasure or delight.” I remember asking God how in the world I could come up with a way to consider it pure joy. Depending on the situation, this truth can be like rocks—hard to chew on. Then He focused my attention on the verse following the scripture above…

“…Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”- James 1:2-4

In the midst of trials we may, quite literally, be lacking much. But God’s heart for us is to be complete, not lacking anything. This brings a new sense of hope to a situation that seems hopeless. All of sudden, there’s something to look forward to. The refiner’s fire always has purpose.

Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? They were tightly bound and literally sent into the furnace by king Nebuchadnezzar because they refused to worship any other god beside the One true God, Yahweh. In fact, Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with them, he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. Talk about a trial! But while they were in the furnace, the king realized that a fourth person was in the fire with them. It was the Angel of the Lord. {Our God does not abandon us in the fire!} He also realized that they were walking around freely in the middle of the fire, no longer bound! Their freedom didn't come after the flames. It came in the midst of it. {Boy, that could preach!}

When they were taken out of the fire, they were completely unharmed. Not a hair of their heads was singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. No other god can save this way!

If you feel like you’re in the midst of the flames, seven times hotter than usual, here’s a promise you can hold on to.

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
Isaiah 43:2-3

God is with you. He has never forgotten you, nor has He abandoned you. Let’s start the victory dance. You’re gonna make it through the furnace.

Victory is real.

Monique Zackery
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  1. Love this! I'm ready to dance! Love you!

  2. Yippee! I'm dancing with you! Love you so much too!

  3. I love the example we have in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! The power of the God can protect us from the evil intentions of others!


"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." - Proverbs 16:24