… you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:3-4
It’s one thing to say you believe. It’s another thing to have your faith tested severely and come out on the other side of it still believing God.
– Joyce Meyer
We have to admit that serving God is a mission! It is certainly not for the fainthearted. We go through things that will test us so roughly we will find ourselves wondering “well, is this God or Satan? because I feel like I might die!!” I personally do not judge a person’s love or commitment to servant hood until they have gone through the wilderness, the deepest of waters and the fire. Simply because having an encounter with God, is much more than a one time ordeal. Faith is a journey, and usually takes a lifetime of salvation. We are saved, we are being saved and we will be saved. And usually as it is important to get to know someone to truly build a relationship, such is the case with God.
When God allowed the people of Israel come out of bondage from Egypt, they were happy as heaven to be free, they marveled at God’s great power and they rejoiced at the victory God granted them for just running as the leader Moses directed them. But little did that last, when they began to complain that they were hungry and wanted the old things they had in Egypt and weer in a rush to get out! They did not know they had idolatry in their hearts, they did not know they were a rebellious ungrateful people and they certainly did not feel so fortunate to be God’s chosen people! It is shocking right. But God’s ways are not our way.
Another thing that we learn about God along the way, is that He tests us to see if we really do have faith and if we really believe His word. Usually the beginning of our walk is filled with promises, and these promises pull us into the future. Then His word sustains us throughout. For a long time, we can waver between God being good and faithful, versus what reality tells us. The fact of the matter is that we will all see God from afar, from hearsay until we experience each process and being first hand witnesses to his character and His word.
The finish line seems to be the promise, and the beginning seems to be a joy, but what about the middle part. this is what God has taught me, this is preparation time.
It is similar to Joseph, who was sold to a distant country by his own family, faced temptation and was unjustly placed in prison for years! He was given a promise in his youth, but He did not reach the finish line until his 30’s! King David as well, he was anointed from his youth and did not become the king of Israel until he went through years of persecution, betrayal and lonely desperate times! For what!?
God allowed these men of God to undergo such suffering because they were in preparation mode.
God trained and disciplined them to greatness, to steadfastness and to be faithful men of integrity. It is almost impossible to attain this overnight.
Father God, thank you for your salvation and I apologize if we take you for granted and become bitter or ungrateful along the way. I intercede for those who are entering your path now, and those who have been going and growing through each process, may you give us conviction of your word. May we believe that which we preach and memorize. I pray that we would be humbled, and that you do have to humble us, because I know that’s a process that hurts all the more. I pray for self control in us, and that we would yield and surrender to your holy spirit, In Jesus name, Amen.