Faithful Through the Fire

Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph's character. Psalm 105:19

  Have you ever felt like you've gotten a clear word from God only to then be faced with situations that have you feeling the complete opposite? I know I have. The stretching, pulling, and testing can have us questioning if we even heard God in the first place. I am coming to understand that with every revelation we receive from the Lord, comes a time of testing that gives us an opportunity to walk that revelation out. 
  God gave Joseph a dream early on in his life, but he didn't see the fruition of that dream for several years. God had given him a word about ruling, and yet Joseph went straight into seasons of slavery and imprisonment. But God was working through the trials and the dream came to fulfillment. Whatever God calls us to do, we will go through seasons of preparation and testing. Scripture tells us, "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:6-7). The testing proves the authenticity of what we have. It's uncomfortable but it's supposed to be. If we can keep our eyes on what is being produced though, we really can find joy in the trials. We have an invaluable opportunity to prove our love for God and walk in obedience. Where there is obedience, there is always reward and promotion.
  The testing in our lives removes what is impure so that only the gold remains. We need godly character in order to carry the glory that God has bestowed on us. If we refuse to be refined by fire, we won't have the character to sustain the big things God wants to do in our lives. He is looking for yielded vessels. He is looking for faithful and obedient ones who won't back down in the fire. And remember, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials because of what will be produced in us (James 1:2-3). When we yield to God in our testing, we will come out stronger than before.
  Trials have a way of showing us what we truly believe. We can proclaim our beliefs all day long, but it is the storms of life that show us what we actually believe. These are valuable opportunities to be doers of God's word and not just hearers (James 1: 22). Genuine faith will be proven time and time again. Every time we get thrown back into the fire, more of that dross is removed and the gold is more pure. We want our lives to be marked with that kind of purity. We want our love for God to be proven authentic. We can embrace the seasons of preparation and testing with thankfulness. Joseph remained faithful in his trials and was put in charge of an entire region because of it. What could happen in your life if you did the same?

Holy Spirit, we don't want to miss out on what you're teaching us in our trials. Help us to embrace every part of our journey with you. Fill us with joy in the process. Show us what is being proven in us. Remove any discouragement or hopelessness from our hearts. Remind us of the words you've spoken to us and give us the courage to keep going. Let our love for you always be proven authentic. 

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