Spiritual Growth

Lord, Bring me through!

images-1 Lord, bring me through. God is using the crucible (a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions) of our circumstances to strengthen us. To build our character and make us more like Jesus so that we can be who he made us to be and do what he has planned since before time began for us to do. He uses the crucible of our circumstances to deepen our need of him, our love for him and to show us his great power, love and fulfill his promises. He uses the crucible to transform us, strengthen us and prepare us. The crucible is painful, difficult and our natural human response is to want OUT.

In Gethsemane, Jesus was distressed at what he was about to go through to the point of crying tears of blood. He absolutely could have opted out- he could have not gone to the cross. But, just because this option was in His power to take, he didn’t. He went to the cross. He went through His crucible. The result? God raised him from the dead and He sits at the place of honor near God’s throne. The Cost benefit analysis on this one is clear!
God places us in crucibles of circumstances and crucibles of relationships and these are used for His purposes IF we cooperate with Him. Sometimes we are able to see that we are heading into the crucible and can brace ourselves for it.  Sometimes we just sort of go ” oh shoot here I am” after thrashing around a bit and sometimes we IGNORE the crucible that we are even in a crucible. Sometimes we decide to adapt to the crucible and never get out.
When we deny and ignore the crucible and the fact that it has divinely ordained purpose in it…we have quit on God and we have also decided that His best for us is to stay in this crucible.
But, all crucibles are temporary and used for a time. Begin to pray Lord bring me through and Lord help me to cooperate with what you are trying to create and forge in me. I’m here, you are with me…let’s do this!
As a triathleimageste, I always prayed and hoped for clear and smooth waters to swim in. I knew that the waters would be rough no matter what because of all the swimmers starting to swim at the same time when the gun went off. But, if the waters were smooth to start, once the swimmers got spread out a bit, smoother waters could be found. But, if the waters were choppy to start, then it’d be a tough swim the whole way. On those race days where I saw rough waters, I had to fortify myself more to create a calm, strong approach to the task at hand. It helped knowing that the swim doesn’t last forever. But, I had to swim the whole swim course. I couldn’t just do some of it.  And, if I didn’t swim I couldn’t go on to bike and then the run.  I had to swim to race, I had to swim to finish. I had to go through.
Oh, what would happen to us if  with confident hope and bold courageousness looked at our challenges and trials in life and said, “ok Lord, I’m in. I’m gonna cooperate. I know you are with me. I know this won’t last forever. I’m gonna do my part. Strengthen me, change me…I know it’s all for good and I know you are bringing me to my destiny and purpose through this.  Let’s do this Lord. Have your way with me.”
I never had a good swim in calm or choppy waters when I was stressed and fought the water. I had great swims when I was calmly courageous,  taking the swim one stroke at a time and dealing with each random toss of the water at a time. The difference in a lousy swim and a good one wasn’t the calmness or roughness of the water; it was my attitude and approach to the water. I had to be strong and cooperate.  Also, I never had a good race if I didn’t swim!
Isaiah 43:1-3
Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown. I am the Lord, your God, the Holy one of Israel, your Savior.
Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
Philippians 1:6 says
Being confident of this,that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God wants to finish what he starts. God has you in a crucible for a purpose. Cooperate. Know you aren’t alone and know that it will be worth it. You have to swim to race, you gotta get in the water.  No one can swim for you – no one.
Jesus is our example. And here is what Paul says about Jesus’ approach to his crucible and how we should cooperate as Jesus did!
Hebrews 12: 1-4

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.a Because of the joyb awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;c then you won’t become weary and give up. 4After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

Wherever you are, pause and ask God to show you the reality in light of eternity. Then you can see you are in the crucible, cooperate with God who is with you and will not forsake you and He will bring you through. You will not be the same. The change brought about when you cooperate in the crucible is called spiritual transformation! You will be more like Jesus. You will not be the same- you will be better…so much better! Crucibles, like races don’t last forever. With God, you CAN do this!!

Paul’s says in Ephesians 3:20

Now all glory to God who is able through His might power at work within me to accomplish INFINTIELY more than I might ask or think.

Lord, bring me through!!

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