It is inevitable that trials will come to both believers in Christ and non-believers alike. But to the believers, don't run away from Christ; but draw closer to Him as you share in His sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). During times of ease and comfort, it's easy to fall into complacency and doing things our own way. But we must stay sharp. What would be the point of having the Comforter if we'd always be comfortable? It's during those tough times that the Holy Spirit comforts us, reminds us of the Father's promises, and leads us to a closer walk with Christ. When the Apostle Peter mentions the concept of a "fiery trial" (1 Peter 4:12), he was referencing Emperor Nero setting Christians on fire. But maybe your trial seems to be burning you up in a sense. Don't let it negatively affect your commitment to Christ. During a fiery trial, focus on God's Word that should be like a fire shut up in your bones (Jeremiah 20:9). ... Fight fire with fire.
God can get our attention in different ways, even by allowing certain things that should shake us to our right senses if we are off track. Sometimes it takes going through a bad ordeal to break a bad habit. As I grow, I am learning more and more about how God will allow us to go through certain things so that we can come to a better knowledge of Who He is.
Don't ask God to test you. (The tests and trials are going to come anyway.) What you should ask for is the courage to remain true to God when the tests and trials do come. Peter said that he would not deny Jesus. He even said he would go to death with Him, but when people asked Peter about his affiliation with Jesus (the test), he denied Him three times (Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75). Peter thought he knew himself so well, and became overconfident in himself, but when the pressure came, he cracked under it. Ask yourself, "How well do I know myself?" You'd be surprised at what you find when you do some deep digging around and soul-searching, and stop pretending like you have it all together, when you really do not.
2012 did not “end,” as we often would say, but it closed, like a door. When one door closes, another door opens! I believe that 2013 is opening up for those faithful believers in Christ. And while 2013 is opening up, let us not bring any baggage from 2012 into this new year! So Praise God for the new while letting go of the old! While you take your grip off the old and get ready for the new, dare to be a dreamer. Joseph's brothers hated him because Jacob showed him favor, and then more-so because he shared his dreams concerning them bowing to him one day (Gen. 37:6-9). Later Joseph got thrown into the pit. The pit represents a low place, a dark time in your life. Maybe you've been "thrown into a pit" at different times. But if you have a dream, despite your hardship, even then you have to keep being a dreamer. That's what Joseph did, he kept being a dreamer. So Joseph was lifted up out of the pit by some Midianite merchantmen who sold Joseph to some Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver. Then he was brought to Egypt. Joseph prospers in Potiphar's house, but then Potiphar's wife falsely accused him of trying to get with her, so he's thrown in prison. Even then Joseph kept being a dreamer. In prison Joseph interpreted the dreams of the cup-bearer and the baker and he is released and is brought to the palace. In the palace, Joseph prospers again and is brought to the pinnacle of success.
From the pit to the prison to the palace Joseph went. See your dreams can get you into trouble, but then that trouble is the start of an interesting process for which God gets all the glory. No matter what, don't stop being a dreamer. No matter what mistakes you have made, no matter what sins you have committed, don't stop being a dreamer! You don't need anyone's permission to dream. Have a vision not just when you're sleeping, but when you're AWAKE. Don't dismiss certain daydreams you have as nothing, especially if they're about you being productive in God's Kingdom! Dreams are involuntary so that means they are God-given! See when you are a dreamer, God will let you hear the inaudible and see the invisible. With that, you should begin to speak that which has yet to be spoken as you have heard and seen new things in the spirit. God wants YOU to have the words concerning your purpose and destiny come out of YOUR mouth so you know it's real. When you share your dreams, not everyone is going to like it, but so what? If God says it, you should be saying it too! In John 6:63 Jesus said, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Speak life concerning your dreams and know that you fulfilling your dreams can impact not only your neighborhood and community, but also even the world! So if you've had a dream, "Dream again!" Keep dreaming until you see your dream realized!
A real dreamer has favor. They have faith. And they have fortitude. Favor is not earned, it is simply given by God for a divine purpose. Favor is outside of you, so when people hate on you because of the favor of God, just say, "EXACTLY, it's OF GOD and not me!" What those who hate on your favor are really saying is that they're mad at God because they're not favored, but you are. As we often say, "Favor is not fair." But God is not a respector of persons, He is a respector of principle. Do what I do and you can get what I got. Now faith is key because you have to walk by it and not by sight. What you see sometimes can scare you away, but faith says, "I know there is something great beyond this trouble I see in front of me!" Faith causes you to keep pressing when it seems like there should be no logical reason for you to be pressing at all. But faith does not always follow logic. Faith follows God. Then there is fortitude. Have strength of mind. Don't change your mind about your dreams, no matter what people say and no matter what happens. If your dream is truly from God it will stand! Be encouraged. Happy New Year!
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.