Are You Chosen? #2
As I mentioned in the previous message, in Isaiah 48 v. 10, the word says that God chose us in a furnace of affliction (trials) and refines us by the trials. God didn’t choose us for His work when we were on the mountain top, but in the valley. When you look back maybe 99 % of your miracles came when you were in the valley not on the mountain top. God is looking at you when you are under attacks by the enemy and says “I can use her/him, as they did not compromise under the attack” Some never get to the fire because they have a compromise attitude.
I also mentioned that gold is purified by fire so the fire is good for the gold. Trials purify believers; gets all the impurities out, so trials are good for the believer. The trial is not for God to find out about your faith but for you to know more about your level of faith. The apostles and followers of Yahshua (Jesus) knew that trials were part of the maturing process.
Let’s look at the life of Paul for his attitude during his trials: In Acts 20: 22-24 he said that he was bound in the spirit to go to Jerusalem and that the only thing he knew that was waiting for him there were bonds and afflictions. But he said that none of those things move him… he just wanted to finish his course with joy. He knew that the attacks would bring him closer to Yahshua and were necessary to his finishing his course.
Paul described more of his ministry when he mentioned in 2 Cor. 4:8-18: that he was troubled on every side, yet not distressed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed…. He also mentioned the same power that raised Yahshua from the dead shall deliver him up out of the trial (v.14). You have to have the same attitude. He also mentions in verse 15 that the trial was for others, sometimes you have to go through a trial for someone else, just for standing in the gap.
Throughout it all Paul calls what he went through as a “light affliction.” Again, he knew that the trials would increase the anointing in his life to help others and this made the trial a “light affliction” compared to the blessing of one soul. He also said in v. 18 that during the trial he doesn’t look at the natural circumstances because they are temporal, meaning that Yahshua could change them at any time! In the same verse Paul said that the eternal benefit of the trial cannot be seen but this was the most important consideration for Paul.
Paul also defines what ministry means in 2 Cor. 6:4-10: a minister must have patience, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, imprisonments, watchings, by people calling him dishonorable and bringing an evil report about him, etc. He knew that these things were necessary for him as part of his ministry call. Remember, in Acts 9:16 Ananias told him that Yahshua would show him the things that he must suffer for the Name’s sake. He was not caught by surprise when attacked. He had accepted the calling. He knew what was coming his way, but he also knew that Yahshua would use him to bring many souls into the kingdom. These trials built up the anointing to such an extent that Paul was able to write two-thirds of the New Testament. Also, his attitude during the trials caught Satan’s attention: in Acts 19: 13-17 seven sons of Sceva wanted to cast out demons from a man who was possessed. The demons said we know Jesus and we know Paul but who are you. Imagine the power of a crucified life namely, Paul that he was named in the same sentence as Yahshua? They knew and were afraid of his name!
Never was his crucified life more evident when he was arrested and could have been set free by Agrippa (Acts 26:32). He appealed to Caesar, because he knew that Yahshua said that he must bear witness of Him at Rome (Acts 23:11). He knew that he had to get to Rome, no matter what was permitted to come his way. Despite the storm that came his way on the ship where he was a prisoner, he held on to the fact that Jesus was sending him to Rome and nothing could stop him. Nothing can stop you from your destiny! The trials are sent to help you receive the anointing to enable you to get there. God always blesses along the way of a trial and at the end. Before Paul got to Rome he landed on an island called Melita. The people really blessed him there (Acts 28:10). He eventually got to Rome and had his own hired house, no longer a prisoner teaching and preaching to the people (Acts 28:30-31).
Look at the promotions that the three Hebrew children and Daniel received by going through their trials: Daniel 3:30 and 6:28. Also, Nebuchadnezzar also saw the true God in action when He was the fourth man to show up in the fire. He blessed the God of the children and said that he would punish anybody who spoke against their God (Dan. 3:28, 29). You never know who is watching you as you are going through your trial that could be influenced by your attitude and become a believer in Yahshua! Imagine the people that got to know the God of Daniel when the lions in the den didn’t go near Daniel but destroyed the people who were responsible for putting him there. The lions were so hungry that they ate them before they hit the ground (Dan. 6:24). This is what Paul meant by the eternal weight of glory that would occur by him going through the trials.
I don’t want you to think that serving God is all about a bunch of trials. He is a blessing God! As I mentioned in the previous message, Peter in his second epistle said that grace and peace would be multiplied after a trial and that God can use the trial to prepare you for all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1: 2,3). We may be asking God to bless us and sometimes the only way He can bless us and enable us to have the character to sustain the blessings is by going through a trial. So rejoice, God could be choosing you in a furnace of affliction: to use you to help more people and at the same time enable you to receive His blessings that you have been praying for!