Spirit-Filled Pastor: How You Can Find Joy in the Fire


Life, at its finest, is a process. It is a process of trials and blessings, challenges and tests, pain and delight.

Life is a process of the "Why, God? Why do I have to go through this?" days we all experience this side of heaven.

Not one of us enjoys the fire, and all of us may scream, wiggle and complain in order to avoid the fires of life. However, even in the fire, God is refining, defining and preparing each one of us for purpose in His unshakable kingdom! There is a way to go through the fire and not even have the residue of smoke rest upon us. There is a way to be in the fire but not of the fire!

God is using the process of the fire to turn you into something more beautiful than you could ever be without the process of the fire. Although God doesn't "set" the fires in life, God is well able to use the fires in life for His extraordinary and miraculous purposes. God uses this process to turn a man or a woman into a productive member of the kingdom of God. God's process will always refine and define a child who is willing to be turned into someone usable for Christ and His kingdom.

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The next time you find yourself in the direct path of a searing fire of life, you need to recognize who God is and glorify Him as such! The primary venue from which we truly know God, and we are able to discern the nature and the name of God, is the Bible. One must thoroughly study the Word of God and determine what the Bible says about our eternal Father. It is in the rich treasury of the Bible that you will be introduced to the eternal divine known as "God." Knowing God, declaring God and worshipping God while in the furnace of great affliction is what will transform your life into a trophy of pure gold. If your focus remains on the goodness of God and you begin to worship Him in spite of the extreme heat of the fire, it may become your very finest hour.

"For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29).

God delights in taking the things that have roared painfully through your life and use those exact events to make you think, act and emote like Jesus. God's plan trumps the devastation of the enemy every single time. The enemy wants to destroy you with problems, challenges and storms, but God intends to turn you into the representation of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is your elder brother, and it is time for you to start acting like Him!

As a believer facing the fiery darts of the enemy, our foremost thought should not be fear, but it should be on the promises and the presence of God. Rather than rehearsing and marinating in all that is wrong with life, perhaps a better idea is to remember all of the promises of our great God! Especially when confronting a fire, it is of vital importance to think about and then to talk about the goodness and the promises of God.

What will you choose to do while in the fire? Will you bless or will you blame? Will you whine or will you worship?

There is only one way to survive the fires that you will certainly encounter in the duration of life ... make sure that the flame of Christ within you burns far brighter and hotter than any fire that burns around you. It is with the flame of Christ that you will find the joy in the middle of any ferocious inferno. It is when His presence, which is defined as "joy," becomes your constant and comforting companion, that others will see His reflection in your life. Even in the fire.

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol has written 11 books, including Significant, StormProof and Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.

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