“even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:7-10NLT
“Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful?”
-Job 21:7 NLT
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; Do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
-Psalm 37:7-9 NLT
“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.”
-Isaiah 48:10 NLT
Sometimes I wonder why it always looks like the wicked succeed, then I’m reminded that the wicked are not succeeding because they are perishing. One can be wealthy and successful by every worldly standard and yet be spiritually bankrupt. Success in the eyes of God is vastly different from how the world sees it. God takes you to heights unknown when you are following Him and He blesses those who are walking in obedience to Him.
There may be trials along the way to get to the destination God has for you, but those trials teach you endurance and perseverance. You are not refined in the times of good, but you are refined in the furnace of suffering. God is the one who will make you come out as gold. Just remember to keep your eyes and your mind fixed on the Author and Finisher of your faith, and He will be the One who gives you perfect peace as you keep trusting in Him.
REFLECTIVE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You, O God, are the Author and the Finisher of my faith. I will continue to keep my eyes and my mind fixed on You because in You alone there is hope and peace. You are the True Joy Giver. You are the One who upholds me with Your victorious right hand, and You have made me more than a conqueror. Lord, help me to always remember that no matter what comes my way, no matter what circumstances I find myself in, You will be the One who shapes and refines me and brings me forth like gold. Guide me as I walk along this narrow way for Your grace is the wall of protection around me, the netting that catches me when I’m falling, and Your grace is my covering. Lead me to the destination You have for me. Help me to carry out the tasks You have assigned me, and may my spirit always yield to You alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Much love to you all,
Linda A. Knowles