When you think of personal trials what do you think of? Do you think of illness, financial troubles, business in the tank, loss of job, divorce, or even death? I think of these things but I have often wondered why this is happening to me. Why am I having to deal with this issue or that issue? Have you ever said any of the following "I thought things were fine. I thought things were heading in the right direction. I have been blessed. I am on top of the mountain. I am making more money than ever before. It's as if everything I touch turns to gold." I have definitely felt this way and said these very things. I was this person. I was building my business. We were on our way to financial freedom and much success. I began to believe one of the oldest lies in the world. You can do it and you don't need anyone to help you. You are powerful. I had put the Lord on the shelf and didn't want to do what He said. I relied more on my own effort than relying on Him. God showed me I was not in charge by taking it all away from me. He gave it to me and therefore He could take it away at will. God brought me to my knees. In the late summer of 2006 all of that changed. I met God early one morning in August on my patio. It was and is the most amazing moment in my life. My wife and I had recently decided to go back to church. I had just heard a message from the evangelist Junior Hill on humility. I made several comments to my wife that I was feeling things I have not felt before. That morning, I heard His voice say read 1st Peter 5:6. I doubted I heard it so I made my coffee and was about to let the dog out. I heard it again and this time I thought OK I'll read it. Once I read it I burst into tears. He had been calling me to change and I was running as fast as I could from Him. Well, you cannot out run God! It was from that day forward that my real journey began. I was turned upside down in every way possible. I did not know what was happening to me but I knew something was happening. I requested a meeting with a man, whom I love and deeply admire several days after that encounter. We met at my office and during that discussion he told me something that no one else had ever said to me. He said Alan, you have a authority problem. Not with your parents or the government but with God. I was moved so much by the honesty in his voice and the love he had for me to say something as difficult as this. I began to think about that statement. I had never thought of it like that before. He was right. I prayed and asked for forgiveness and my life has not been the same since. I am so thankful that I met God that day. I am thankful for my affliction. It has been through my affliction that God has communicated with me, changed me and begin to use me. He uses pain as a megaphone to wake up a sleeping world. Psalm 119:67 reads, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your Word." What does the psalmist mean by this verse. I believe he means that trials are sent to teach us things about God we would not learn any other way. Martin Luther once said he never learned the Word until he was afflicted. His sufferings were his best teacher. C.S. Lewis said "God whispers in our pleasure but He shouts in our pain." The psalmist is saying that his afflictions led him back to God, whereas he once lived for himself, but now he lived for the Lord. We as humans don't like to think about negative circumstances. I will testify to this right here and now. God worked in my life and continues to work in my life to manifest the needed changes and to encourage me to greater growth in Him. Praise the Lord!!!! God will not stop His work in you until it is complete. If you are in a painful situation right now, look to the Lord. He may be speaking to you. Pay Him the attention He deserves and commands. Trust Him! Psalm 34:19 offers this word of encouragement" Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."
Remember it not about you or me it's about GOD!! I hope you are encouraged by this message. I pray that God would reveal Himself to you today. I pray also that you would run to the cross and rest in Him. If this message touched your and you believe it would help someone else please forward it to them.
Until next time!!
God Bless You all!!!!