Fiery Trials are Not Strange

Some of the trials we face as the children of God can be likened to wheat being manually threshed or going through the potter’s kiln.

During threshing, grain is spread on the threshing floor and either beaten with sticks or walked on by a yoke of oxen. The chaff is then separated from the grain by a process called winnowing – where both chaff and grain are placed in a flat tray and then tossed up and down in the air. As they rise up in the air, the paper-weight chaff is blown away while the heavier grains fall back into the tray.

There are times we feel like we are just being tossed up and down – like grains being winnowed – with no end in sight and for no obvious reason. Other times we feel crushed like grains being trampled under a heavy team of oxen.

God says, fiery trials are not strange, for His children. So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you (1 Pet 4:19 TLB). These trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterwards you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory in that coming day when it will be displayed.

Further Reading
The Tea Cup

There was a couple who used to go England to shop in a beautiful antique store. This trip was to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups.

Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked, “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them, the teacup spoke.

“You don’t understand,” it said, “I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Let me alone,’ but he only smiled, and gently said, ‘Not yet!’

“Then. WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick!’, I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly, ‘Not yet.’ “He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then….then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. ‘Help! Get me out of here!’ I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet.’

“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. ‘Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better,’ I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please; stop it, stop it!!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’

“Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up.

“Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited and waited, wondering, What’s he going to do to me next? An hour later he handed me a mirror and said ‘Look at yourself.’ And I did.

“I said, ‘That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful!’

“Quietly he spoke: ‘I want you to remember, then,’ he said, ‘I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.'”

God knows what He’s doing in each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to “stink”, try this:

Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup, sit down, and have a little talk with the Potter.

–author unknown

My Times Are In Your hand

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee (Isa 26:3).

Peace that exceeds anything you can understand comes when your mind is stayed on God. You have peace when you keep your heart on Jesus and not your circumstances and capacities (or lack thereof). If you keep your eyes on the stormy waves you’ll sink like Peter began to sink when he walked on water (Matt 14:22-31), and you’ll doubt God’s love like the disciples did when they said, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:36-41).

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7 TLB).

Commit yourself to God, lean on Him, and hope confidently in Him. Free yourself from the shackles of worry and anxiety over the future. Your times are in His hands. There’s no need to bite your nails or wring your hand in worry. Your times are in His hands.

Why Worry?

Our situation doesn’t improve or get better by us worrying (Matt 6:27). All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]. Prov 15:15 AMP

Doctors usually encourage patients to have a positive outlook because the state of their heart can either speed up their recovery process or their downslide. A man that is sick and also battling condemnation is a man about to die. Proverbs 18:14 says, the spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

Whatever valley of the shadow of death you may be walking through today – make your heart glad by remembering the promises of the One called Faithful and True. The Almighty who says ALL things work together for your good.

Lonely People

adapted from Lonely People by Warren Wiersbe  

Sometimes we feel like we’re on the outside looking in. We feel unwanted, unneeded and uncared for.

Loneliness is described as a feeling of isolation even in the midst of a crowd – a feeling of being all by yourself even when you are surrounded by people.

Whatever the cause of your loneliness Jesus can comfort you and give you rest. Continue reading

Pain: the Gift Nobody Longs For

by Omolola Oriogun

Pain – the gift nobody longs for
Still it comes
Somehow leaves us stronger when it’s gone away
Pray – I try and pray for Your will to be done
But I confess it’s never fast enough
For me, it seems the hardest part is waiting on You
When what I really want is just to see Your hand move

I want a peace beyond my understanding
I want to feel it fall like rain in the middle of my hurting
I want to feel Your arms as they surround me
And let me know that it’s okay to be here in this place
Resting in the peace that only comes in the waiting Continue reading

Dealing with the Consequences

by Yewande Olamiju

Are you sitting in gloom, wondering, “How long, Lord, till I get out of this? I made a mistake, but will I pay for it for ever? Is there no way out? no end in sight? Is this unreedemable? Lord, are You no longer concerned about what I’ m going through?”

Are you going through some dark days because of the wrong choices you made? Like David, repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Trust and believe God when He says that : Continue reading

JESUS, our Comforter

by Omolola Oriogun

It was 23:04pm Sunday night and I was already tucked in bed, I whispered some words of prayer, thanking GOD for the whole day. While I was praying, my thoughts ran through the whole day, “went to church; went for my girlfriend’s engagement party that same day, had a wonderful time out with my family when we had dinner together, watched some comedies, and then, going to bed,” therefore, I was praying with a very big smile.

My phone beeped while praying Continue reading

Help! My Doubt Scares Me

by Omolola Oriogun

Have you ever doubted your faith? Ever imagined “can GOD do this? We all have doubts from time to time. We may doubt that our boss really hit a hole-in-one at the golf course last weekend, or that our best friend really caught a fish as big as the one he claimed to catch, or that the strange looking guy on that light night TV show was really abducted by alien beings from a distant galaxy.  

Sometimes the things we doubt aren’t really that important, but other times they are. And the more important something is to us, the more personally invested we are in it, the scarier it can be to start having doubts about it. So when Christians begin to have doubts about something as significant as the truth of their Christian faith, it’s quite understandable that this might worry or even frighten them.   Continue reading

The Law of Confession

by Omolola Oriogun

I’ve come to realise that confessing the word of GOD in situations most times works, more than anything else. Sometime ago I was diagnosed to have acute ulcer, a blown kidney, massive fibroid and different other ailments. I remember vividly that when the Doctor told my Mom and I all those things that we both rejected it vehemently. It’s not because I wasn’t in pains but I believed GOD’s report rather than Doctor’s report.

You may wonder did I really have all the Doctor said I had. Continue reading

GOD is knocking

by Omolola Oriogun

“What did you say happened to my wife, 3 children, younger brother and sister-in-law? I don’t seem to understand what you are saying. GOD won’t do this to me, all my family dead?, burnt in fire. I don’t think GOD will do this to me..” *weeping bitterly*

“Mr. Evangelist, hold on please. The LORD understands it all sir and we believe HE will make you understand too.”  

Continue reading

God for Us

by Omolola Oriogun

Let me share this testimony of a child of GOD with you to affirm Romans 8:28-31.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

A woman was on her way to Abuja by road. Continue reading

Does God Hear Me?

by Yewande Olamiju

Does God hear me when I pray? Is He disinterested in my prayers? Are my prayers relevant? Should I even bother praying? Does He talk to me?

The bible says:
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry (Psa 34:15 NIV, 1 Pet 3:12)  

O Thou that hearest prayer (Psa 65:2) Continue reading

When It seems Like The Wicked Are Prospering, It’s time for Reflection

by Miss Mo

It had been a couple of those kinds of months; you know those ones where despite your best efforts nothing seems to be going right. So of course you start to self-examine and then comparisons between you and others start coming up. You think to yourself “but I’ve been doing almost everything right, at least all the big stuff that really matter anyway and I’ve been dedicated.” Then thoughts about other people start creeping in, you start to look at your friends and acquaintances and start to scrutinize and become a judge over their lives. Continue reading

When Success Happens to Someone Else

highlights of a sermon by Pastor Afolabi Oladele

Have you been tempted to stage your own palace coup in the corners of your home or office? Are you willing to give up your own personal ambition, like Jonathan did, for a higher calling? Are you willing to accept a calling that could mean sitting on the bench? Are you willing to accept what might involve behind the scenes work that goes unnoticed?

Sometimes some of us have to sit on the bench and it’s not because we can’t play centre forward, but the Coach (GOD) decides who plays centre forward and who sits on the bench. I Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. Continue reading

Fear not!

By God’s Icon

The Lord impressed these words upon my spirit and I feel strongly to share them with you.

Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. (Isa 41:10 MSG)

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isa 41:10 KJV) Continue reading

Why does God make me wait?

by Yewande Olamiju

You’re next in line at the bank and suddenly the bank teller says, “Please wait. I’ll be right back.”

God is not like the cashier who has to attend to some other things before He is able to attend to you.

You’ve been put on hold for the last five minutes listening to a recording say over and over again, “Please what for the next available agent.”

God does not have to put Lagos on hold or call waiting so He can attend to the issues of Bangladesh. Continue reading