I went to my friend Elizabeth Prata's blog The End Time this morning to catch up with what she has been posting about. I watched this video:
Praise You in the Storm
The Lord spoke to my heart as I listened, and I became aware that I have not been praising God properly during this time of trial in my life, nor have I been thanking Him for the things He has been showing me during the trial.
Ephesians 5:20 tells us: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We don't grow during times of ease and leisure when all is well with our world. We grow in our times of trouble and testing. We don't run to God and depend on Him for comfort, strength and wisdom in our times of ease, but we certainly do in our times of trouble. That's where He meets us and shares our burden; He carries us through it, never leaving us nor forsaking us.
So, my friend, REALLY, if you are having trials and testing, PRAISE GOD! He loves you as a son or daughter and is disciplining you; helping you to grow in reliance on Him.
I have been going through testing, literally one right after the other now for the past 13 years. I have failed in some of the tests to do what I know the Lord wanted me to do. But one thing I have learned is that God is determined to purify those who claim Jesus as their savior, and if we fail in a test, that means we're going to get another one to make up for the one we messed up. He is determined to bring us to that place where we are less and less and Jesus is more and more of us and we look more and more like He did.
As I sit here in the silence, I realize that He is nearby and He knows my every thought, He knows what I'm writing and that I finally(!) get what He's doing. Every test or trial I must lay back in His hands, not holding on and let Him carry me through it. I must trust that He won't drop me, leave me, or let me down. He's not letting go of me and I; I must not let go of Him. He is my lifeline, the one who gives perfect advice and perfect peace. As I rest in His hands, I must thank Him for being my rock, my hiding place and my sure foundation, and acknowledge that this trial is not the end of me, it's the beginning of being more like Him if I let it be.
Oh, God, I recognize your hand at work in my life. I believe in you, but help whatever parts of me haven't gotten on board yet and remove any disbelief I may still have. I trust you, remove all the barriers I have still within me that make me want to be in control. I want to be like a little child, trusting you completely with no reservations. You are everything, I am a vapor. Everything belongs to you, including me. I was created for you, so take my life, Lord, and let it be always, only, all for you.