Refined by Fire: 2 ways to Beat the Storms of Life

 


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It’s difficult when you’re making the transition from being a self-reliant, independent person who has learned to take care of themselves to now begin learning to trust and depend on a God you can’t see, Who’s supposed to provide for your very present, physical needs. I think that by the fact that so much scripture in the bible deals with the issues of faith, trust, and dependence upon God reflects the concern and understanding that God has for us in this area of our relationship with Him.

He knows how most of us have fallen from using tools like faith, patience, and hope in our contemporary society of dealing with the ‘hear and now. ’ Some have a casual relationship with God where you pray to Him about things, tell Him all of your woes, and sing about Him in hymnals. We need a living relationship with God, but some folks just try to appease Him to keep Him from sending them to hell.

Nevertheless, when He starts calling you into real relationship with Him, He calls you to trust Him with your finances, with your marriage, with your career, with your health and all of these real life issues; there is fork formed in the road and each one of us must choose which way we want to go. So then the question becomes, how real is God to you?

“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" “But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’" Mark 4: 37-38, 40

In the midst of your storm Jesus tells you to simply trust Him. We don’t always get delivered from our storms. Jesus won’t always just calm the sea just because your boat is taking water. It sometimes feels like God isn’t with us because we pray and we pray and yet He still doesn’t seem to hear us and He doesn’t deliver us. The disciples inquired of Jesus, “Do you not even care that we perish?" Some of you may feel this same way. I know I’ve felt that way but God has dealt with me until I got past the point of questioning whether or not He heard my prayers and knew that He was answering them according to His will, not my fears. Let’s look at to principles that are developed in the storms of life.

We have to remember that all things are working together for our good in life and they are working to make us better. God is always taking opportunities to grow us and help us mature so that we can walk more closely to Him and bear more of His good fruit in our lives.

  • Trust Only in the Lord. As I mentioned in the introduction, we learn as human beings that the older we get the more self-reliant and independent we need to become. This truth is a direct paradox to spiritual growth and maturity. The mature Christian is the one who depends on God the most for their needs and desires in life. We get carried away in life and tend to lean and depend on what we have right before us. Whether it’s our spouse, a best friend, a great job, a profitable business, or a bottle of alcohol, God tells us the put Him and only Him as our Lord and Father. So then if God seems to be sleep while the waves of life are crashing into you and you think you’re going to drown, please remember that He said that He would NEVER leave you nor forsake you.

    He wants you to learn to lean and depend on Him and not question whether He cares if you live or die. Did He not die for your sins while you were still in sin?! Then why question His love. When everything else has failed in life, you only noticed it fail because you were depending on it in the first place! He wants us to remember it is by Him that we breathe, move, and exist. He wants us to know Him as everything we need; our all. In your fiery trials you will come through if you cast all of your cares and burdens on Him and trust Him to bring you comfort.

  • Patience. One of the most important things that you will learn if you haven’t already is that God’s not in any rush to do anything. One day is as 1,000 and 1,000 years is as one day with God, it’s all the same to Him. You may be enduring some unjust circumstances just like Joseph did when he was sold into slavery by his own brothers and cast into prison wrongfully. Joseph’s desert place of life lasted 13 years! You talk about 13 long years of developing patience. Yet he endured because he learned to abide in Christ. He didn’t sin against God, curse God, or grow bitter; he just kept working and kept abiding.

    That’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to cast your cares on God, commit your times to His hands, do your work, and trust God to bless and do the rest. Patience is one of the most important keys to success for everyone. Any business owner will tell you of the power that rests in being patient for your efforts, investments, and sweat to begin to pay off. God allows His rewards to be withheld from us so that we develop character and love based on who He is and not just what God can give. But when God gets ready to turn on the blessing in your life, He can do it so fast that your head spins!

    Joseph went directly from the pit to the palace. God will do the same thing for you; He will take you from the obscure and mediocre places of life directly to power and significance if you learn to let God gain trust with you and develop patience in you. If you want to be elevated to the powerful places of life, abide in Christ.

    Anthony Obey is the publisher and co-compiler of the women’s inspirational book series entitled Refined by Fire with his wife, Crystal Obey. There are currently 3 books within the women’s series which includes inspirational testimonies and messages from 61 leading women around the nation. This message is inspired by the Refined by Fire Book series. Find out how you can become a writing contributor, sign up for our mailing list, and order books at http://www.RefinedbyFireWomen.com

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