Sunday, July 2, 2017

Why Must I Be So Tested Lord?

Isaiah 48:10
"Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
Today I was looking back at my journal entries, as I often do, to see how my growth in Christ has progressed through the years. As I read the entry from July 3, 2007 I read about the way I was struggling emotionally and feeling pretty useless. I wrote about the pressure of the world that was upon my shoulders, and about a lower neck vertebrae that was making my arms and fingers numb.

Then, as if things couldn't get any worse, I found myself under a spiritual battle from Satan's minions. Like a grape in a wine press, I was being squeezed a little more. I wrote that I prayed, and even fasted a few days to see if God would give me relief, but the pressure just kept getting worse.

I continued reading my entries from day to day, of how I struggled for almost a week as I dealt with the battle I was in. Then I read an entry on July 8th where I finally received a message from God. It was about 6:30 in the morning, when I had just finished my daily morning quiet time in the Bible. I again prayed for relief from my many troubles when my entry abruptly stopped and I wrote the Psalm below.

It was after I wrote the Psalm, that I then wrote how God reminded me of His response to Paul, when he asked for relief from the thorn in his side.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
However, it was what I recorded in my journal next. that is truly inspiring.
For the first time in a week, I feel a calming sensation. It's as if God has answered my prayers. No, I know He has.
I remember that time in my life, but not all the events, which is why keeping a journal is a good idea. I believe that all Christians should keep a journal, so that you can look back and learn from your own struggles, but I digress. I made it through that valley of death, but only because God answered my prayers.

Am I the only one who finds it interesting how God will allow things to be piled upon the troubles we already have, even though we feel we cannot take anymore. We can be in what we feel like is the lowest point in our life, yet God will allow Satan to afflict us some more. It's almost as if God is telling Satan, after He already allowed Satan to create havoc in our life,
"Have you considered My servant [your name], that there is none like him/her on the earth, a blameless and upright man/woman, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he/she holds fast to his/her integrity, although you incited Me against him/her, to destroy him/her without cause." Job 1:3
To which Satan responds to God by saying,
"Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man/woman has he/she will give for his/her life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his/her bone and his/her flesh, and he/she will surely curse You to Your face!" Job 2:4
We are told that God will never give us more than we can handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Many under Job's situation would have cursed God and lost faith, yet we are to look to Job as an example. If you were in Job's situation you may feel like you cannot continue, but God knows we have reserves in our tank to fight some more.

You must understand that God knows that the giant in front of us, is never bigger than He is. Thus we should all be heartened, that no matter how difficult the battle before us seems, we can be assured that Christ will be true to His promise,
For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
Thus the reason we are all assured that regardless of the odds against us, just as Job survived, and David defeated Goliath, we too can and will win any battle before us. Regardless of how useless it may seem to continue the fight. Why? Because;
"He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4.
This is the Psalm I wrote in my journal. It may seem a bit disjointed today, but at the time I wrote it I was feeling like the world around me was crumbling so much that I felt I could not go on any more. I wrote this from my heart of how I felt as I struggled through an enormous amount of pressure, that was physical, mental, and spiritual.

Why O'LORD, Must I Be So Tested
A Psalm by Chuck Ness

I have been tested when I was doing what I must.
I have been tested when I was thinking of doing wrong.
I have been tested when I was lost and not looking.
I am now being tested while I try to repair that which I broke.

Why are the things I do, never seem to be enough?
Why is the person I love the most, the one who I have hurt the most?
Why does it seem like the works of my heart are so often inadequate?
Why O' why Lord, must I be so tested when I am already down?

Does the answer lie in my past behavior?
Does the actions of my past destroy all the good I do now?
Does my heart even try as hard as I think it does?
Does the results I look for even match my needs?

I try to do good by writing my thoughts in letters of love.
I try to find that part of me that I lost before I started.
I never knew how important words would become in my life.
I never meant to open that door that held such misery and strife.

Lift me up my Lord and give me strength to continue.
Lift me up and allow me to prove my love for Your Word.
Lift me up so that I may fight the good fight.
Lift me up my Lord and forgive me for the nails in Your hands.

Thank You O' Lord for showing me the errors of my ways.
Thank You O' Lord for redeeming me with Your Blood.
Thank You O' Lord for the new life I have in You.
Thank You O' Lord for testing me when I am already down.

I have been tested when I was doing what I must.
I have been tested when I was thinking of doing wrong.
I have been tested when I was lost and not looking.
I am now being tested while I try to repair that which I broke.

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