We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.
Henry Ward Beecher
Shabach the Lord of All Zion,
As you go through your life dear Over comer and as you endure the afflictions that assail you, remember that the Lord is the Master of your life and He is the one who is permitting your life to be encompassed with many infirmities. Have you any trial dear Over comer that is of a crushing nature? Is there the threat of multiple areas of testing that you do not know you can conquer? Are you compassed with scourging and depression on every side? Has your life come to a place where you know not if you are situated in stability and you wonder if you are going to fall? Has the most awful thing, the most terrible testing, the most horrendous trial that you feared the most happened unto you? Has your physical body been injured and has your body been assailed with sickness and disease? Has God seemingly turned away His face from you and you find Him hard to seek and to find and often do not know where He is? Is there such an inner turmoil and conflict in your life that anything more added to your daily burden would surely crush you and stifle any expression of life in you? Have you lost someone dear to you in death? Has your life been a grief ever since? Do you have family members, friends and neighbors who do not understand you at all and when they look upon you do they think that you are insane? Are you “strange” to those who live around you and view your life? Are you cut off and alone? Is your measure of fellowship with other believers only with one or two and no more? Have family members stopped talking to you and have walked away in a dearth of silence?
If any of these things as well as a multitude of other things have happened unto you dear Over comer, then you are enduring the Euroclydon Wind! The ship is being torn apart! Your life has been racked dear Saint of God, you who feel as far from being Holy as is possible! Instead you see FLESH in your life, that which you would not do, you do! That Holiness you desire is only a faint hope! Dear Over comer, the winds of Euroclydon blow upon your earthly bark and YOU ARE TO BE ENVIED! How envious a position you are in for the judgment of God abides upon your mortal frame! Your life is encompassed with infirmity of every sort, AND GOD IS THE DOER OF IT! God is reducing you to NOTHING. There will be NOTHING OF “YOU” LEFT WHEN HE IS DONE! And not just that dear Over comer. It is that in this “time” we are in – THE HEAT AND THE FIRE IS INCREASING EVERY DAY. The areas of testing assailing your mortal frame ARE MORE. The fire’s are daily growing HOTTER. The testing is becoming more insurmountable! You are becoming more CONFINED! So near to the breaking point was your frame yesterday, how much closer to being broken today!
And on top of that you prayed, you fasted, you sought hard after God. You allowed Him to sweep through your soul in times past and were crushed and broken already, but the crushing, the breaking is CONTINUING. Perhaps there were many around you who thought your life was a waste, who would encourage you to take comforts in natural things, to forget God, to go into the world and be one with those who reveled in the night time! You may have been tempted to think your prayers are not being heard or answered! All such are the afflictions of the righteous!
New International Version (NIV)
24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
We read in 2 Samuel 5:17, “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed King over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him.” The moment we receive anything from the Lord worth fighting for, the Devil comes seeking to destroy us. When the Enemy confronts us at the threshold of any great work of God, we should accept it as evidence of our salvation, and claim double the blessing, victory, and power. Power is developed through resistance. The force and the amount of damage created by an exploding artillery shell appears to be greater because of the resistance at the point of impact. A power plant produces additional electricity by using the friction of rotating turbines. And one day, we too will understand that even Satan has been used as one of God’s instruments of blessing.
A hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head winds right for royal sails.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tribulation is the door to triumph. The valley leads to the open highway, and tribulation’s imprint is on every great accomplishment. Crowns are cast in crucibles, and the chains of character found at the feet of God are forged in earthly flames. No one wins the greatest victory until he has walked the wine-press of woe family. With deep furrows of anguish on His brow, the “man of sorrows”(Isa. 53:3) said, “In this world you will have trouble”(John 16:33). But immediately comes the psalm of promise, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” The footprints are visible everywhere. The steps that lead to thrones are stained with spattered blood, and scars are the price for scepters. We will wrestle our crowns from the giants we conquer. It is no secret that grief has always fallen to people of greatness.
The mark of rank in nature
Is capacity for pain;
And the anguish of the singer
Makes the sweetest of the strain.
Tribulation has always marked the trial of the true reformer. It was true in the story of Paul, Luther, Savonarola, Knox, Wesley, and the rest of God’s mighty army. They came through great tribulation to their point of power. Every great book has been penned with the author’s blood. “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation”(Rev.7:14). In spite of his blindness, wasn’t Homer the unparalleled poet of the Greeks? And who wrote the timeless dream of Pilgrim’s progress? Was it a prince in royal robes seated on a couch of comfort and ease? No! John the Revelator, where was he when he penned the book of Revelation? Where am I while penning these thoughts and studies that I share with you? Family the lingering splendor of John Bunyan’s vision gilded the dingy old walls of an old English jail in Bedford, while he, a princely prisoner and a glorious genius, made a faithful transcript of the scene.
Great is the easy conqueror;
Yet the one who is wounded sore,
Breathless, all covered over with blood and sweat,
Sinks fainting, but fighting evermore—
Is greater yet.
Assailed by this affliction May & I will not complain, but allow the holy spirit to carve us into a more Christ like image. The world unforgiving though it is, will not make us forget whose we are. Our God is Awesome and has done great things for us when we didn’t deserve them. We are grateful for being called to suffer for a little while. This little rain mixed with God’s sunshine makes us appreciate the good times we believe are on the horizon. By being crushed we hope that we smell as good as the fragrance used to anoint our Savior. I am convinced that my God will do as he said to His servant. Eating, clothing, and lodging all belong to Him. The job we feel we need, it belongs to Him, May completing school, all belongs to Him. Every need we have need of is His not ours. Chained to Christ chariot are we. This victory we celebrate belongs to Him. Stay in position family and watch Him move!!!!
A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson