Psalms 66:10-12—For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
Becoming a Christian does not mean that all trials will cease and life suddenly become as smooth as it can be On the contrary, throughout Scripture we see God’s people enduring great trials that nearly crush them. Paul the Apostle promised that if we suffer with Him, we will reign with Him. What is this difficult life we are called to all about? God is refining us. In the Father’s eyes, the work is done, but here on earth as we live out our day-to-day life, we find our old nature is trying to reestablish its ways in us. It was our familiar pattern, and one into which we would easily slip. Through the difficult situations we face, God reveals to us the old ways that we are tempted to cling. If we try them again, we find they are contrary to our new life. It is like the refining of a metal. The heat brings up the lighter contaminants so that they can be removed. One old silversmith said that he knew that the silver refining process was finished when he could see his reflection in the silver. God is looking for His reflection in you. In the end, God brings us out into a place of abundance. For many, that will not be in this life. You may have to wait for eternity, what a place of abundance. Those who died in faith and did not receive the promises in this life will go to a better reward, writes the author of Hebrews. Many wonder about the expression “filling up the sufferings of Christ”. As a part of His body, your sufferings in the process of refinement, are a part of that mystical suffering. Jesus suffers with you for you are a part of His body; when one member hurts, all the members suffer, including the head. You are not alone in your suffering. Let the Comforter comfort you.
Colossians 1:15-17—Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Paul had no doubts about the deity of Jesus. He understood that Jesus was the visible manifestation of the invisible God. Every manifestation of God throughout Scripture is Jesus Christ. God is a spirit, but when He is manifested, we are seeing Jesus in some form. The place of firstborn is usually given to a firstborn son. Jesus is eternally existent with God, but He was born into the world of creation at a point in time through Mary. The firstborn is the heir of the Father, with a double portion of the inheritance. So, though everything is God’s, the double portion of inheritance belongs to Jesus. Our adoption as sons would give us a single portion of the inheritance. What is incredible is that Jesus is willing to share His inheritance with us, considering us His brothers. This passage also declares Christ to be the instrument of creation. Everything that was made, everything that exists other than the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was made by Jesus. It was made for Jesus. The rebellion in the Garden only detracted for a moment in eternity, from the ultimate will of God. Everything will glorify the Son. There is no other possible outcome. He holds it all together. At His word, it would all cease to exist. At times, we forget the supremacy of Christ and grow concerned over our temporal situations. It helps us to go back and look at the big picture and realize that everything is in His hands. Everything will bring Him glory. The whole earth is filled with His glory.
Psalms 56:2-4—Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
There are times in life when it seems the whole world has unjustly conspired against you. Slander can turn your good reputation into one in which people unwittingly believe lies about you. Those who join together to bring you down have believed the slander and think they are serving a righteous cause. It is their pride that tells them they are more righteous than you, and therefore they must see that you are removed from the place of respect that your life has earned. It can seem that life is out of control, that evil has a free reign. That is a fearful thought. If there is no justice, if lies can destroy the innocent, what hope is there of any kind of godly achievement in life? That would cause anyone to fear. But when we are afraid, we need to look to where all power truly lies. It is not in the power of slander. It is not in evil destructive powers, even though it may appear so at the moment. To God belongs power and might. Those who trust in Him are never disappointed. We turn to His unfailing promises and find faith that moves us beyond the present to the promised outcome. When we see life from this perspective, we can say with David, “What can mortal man do to me?” He can lie, slander, and deceive, why, he can even beat and kill my mortal body, but all power and might belong to God. I will be eternally rewarded for my trust in Him. My enemies will either be conquered by Him, as I was, and become my brothers, or they will be punished for their rebellion against His love and truth. Every knee will bow! Either way, righteousness and truth will prevail. I can count on it. His word has never failed and it never will.