For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, -Isaiah 40:9-11a ESV
If you are a child of God, then the first, the most important lesson to learn is: It is NOT about you! Rule #1 about being a Leader used by God, a Follower of God is: It is NOT ABOUT YOU, get off yourself leader\follower. We must accept and understand that the universe is about God and HIS glory—and that whatever exalts God’s glory also works for HIS CHILDREN’S ultimate good. Trust in the LORD, the testing, the refining- for ALL HE does for HIS sake accrues to our eternal benefit! James says that God is allowing you to go through ‘All This’ so He can use you! Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4) What do you want? Do you want a happy, easy, life…or do you want ALL that GOD ORDAINED for you, through the use of you, for HIS GLORY? Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Leader, when a WARRIOR gets knocked down, they don’t GIVE UP, they GET UP! 1 Peter 4:19 encourages us; Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. (Proverbs 24:16) If we are going to be like God we need to be long-suffering (patient in tribulation). It is in the VALLEY that we must look up TO GOD, FOR HIS GUIDANCE. It is written: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Is His grace and mercy sufficient? Are you content with your painful portion from God? Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Conduit, we are hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10) When we are in the flesh, we think “love” means to “do no harm,” when it really means “to be willing to do short-term harm for a redemptive purpose.” God loves you and is willing to do whatever it takes to make you more like HIS SON. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and HIT IT AGAIN! God is refining you, so He can use you for His glory and others’ good! For God so loved the world He did something about it…He sent you and me so that others can see and feel His Love! Be a Conduit, BE THE VESSEL OF GOD you were called out to be! Allow God to refine you in the fiery furnace called life and be used by God. For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for HOPE and a FUTURE! (Jeremiah 29:11) Trust in the LORD and lean not on your own understandings!