Strength in Broken Places

Malachi 3:3

-"He will act like a refiner and a purifier of silver..."

Where are you God? Have you forgotten me? Do you not see my tears? I’ve asked these questions to God as I’m sure many of us have. What I’ve learned is that God never once has forgotten me, but I just needed to know where to find Him and seek His face and trust His plan for my life. I recall a couple of years ago I received an infection in my stomach. I had to take 3 antibiotics for about 14 days; it wasn’t a pleasant time. I was in a lot of pain and discomfort during those 14 days. I noticed as I was taking the antibiotics that they were making me sick as a dog. I would get headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and even more stomach pain. In the midst of all of this I had cried out to God and asked why was I going through all of this. I thought to myself that all of these side effects I was having couldn’t be normal. So I decided to read the label of all the medicines and it turned out that all of the side effects were normal. And I thought, great; so in order for me to get better I have to feel worse. That was ok though, because I knew I just had to endure it for only 14 days, and I trusted that the doctor knew what she was doing. I’ll just hold on a little longer because I knew in the end I would come out better.

The label on all the medications said “even though you may endure some nasty side effects, the doctor prescribed this medicine because she felt it’s benefits were greater than the side effects” God revealed to me in that moment that just like my side effects of medicine, I may have to go through a little or a lot of pain to eventually have greater blessings. He spoke to me so clearly and said, “Lindsey, why is it that you can trust the doctor but you can’t trust Me? Don’t you know I have your best interest in mind and My plan for you is nothing but great things?” I knew I only had to endure the side effects of the medicine for 14 days and trusted that the healing of my virus would come; God asked me why can’t I give him that same trust?

Have you wondered why would a loving God allows His children to suffer when He could so easily deliver them? Or ask why does God even allow bad things to happen to people who are seeking Him and really trying to live for Him? I know I have. But girlfriend, I’m here to remind you that we don’t serve a God of pain and punishment but of love, joy, and grace! In Malachi 3:3 it says “He will act like a refiner and a purifier of silver…” Silversmiths hold silver over the furnace. The silver has to be placed in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest so all of the impurities can be burned away. Silversmiths determine when the refining process is complete when they can see their image in the silver. God determines when his refining process of us is complete when He can see his God-like image in us. God is not committed to our comfort; He is committed to our character. Knowing that our faithfulness will directly impact how much fruit will be produced should challenge us to remain faithful. Remember that our Lord is always faithful, whether we are delivered from our hard places or through them. And although we may not always rejoice in our circumstances, we are commanded to always rejoice in the Lord. When we praise the Lord through and in spite of what we face, our praise becomes our deliverance through the trial.

The worst storms make the best sailors. Just like a ship in a storm we too must position ourselves in the right place, which is in the hands of God which requires complete submission to Him. A blessing is not always easy, painless, simple, comfortable, or expected. A blessing often comes wrapped in the mystery of darkness and pain: anything that makes us cry out to God can be counted as a blessing. Because when we are desperate and hurting, when we have no answers and the darkness is closing in, we cry out to God, just as his disciples did, and He comes. Not because we have earned His presence or His mercy, but because we cried out with a tiny seed of faith, as His children, knowing He is not only be able but willing to come. We try not to lose instead of pressing on to win, yet the Bible tells us that we-who are in Christ-can stand each day assured of victory when we call on the power of God. Will we choose to trust in the faithful God who sees our opponent and promises to be our Strength, or will we succumb to our Enemy, who seeks to erode our trust in God so that he may destroy us? What are you wrestling with today or any day? Is the enemy speaking lies to you? Do you feel weak?

Strength comes when we call on Jesus and trust in Him. The condition for obtaining God’s full blessing is absolute surrender to Him. This cannot be done if there’s doubt in your heart. Doubt creates mountains while faith moves them. Faith doesn’t bypass pain, but it does however empower us to deal with pain. When trials come and life is hard, we plead with God to deliver us from the problem when many times His plan is to deliver us in the problem. Praise does not depend upon an understanding of the circumstances or trial. Praise depends upon an understanding of who God really is and wants to be in our lives, and our willingness to trust Him. All through life strength is forged in broken places.