What do you want from me, God? Why am I here again? Why is this fiery trial in my life?

Have you ever been there? It seems nothing you do is getting God’s attention. You read your Bible. You pray. You go to church.

You do, do, do but God doesn’t seem to notice or at least you can’t tell if He does or not. The fire is still burning. If anything it even looks more menacing. The flames are building higher.

woman fire

Frustration mounts and if you are anything like I used to be, you eat whatever is in sight to assuage your anguish and pain. Aer all, your main prayer is for God to rescue you from the mountain of flesh that has attached itself to your body.

You can’t hear an answer. It seems dead silent like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. You just want out of the fiery trial.

I was at that place just recently. Seems like only yesterday. Wait, maybe it was. Although I’ve laid down the resource of going to food, the frustration and trial was still there in the shape of a different circumstance. Y’all do know the devil is a shape shifter, right?

I cried out to God and He answered me with a nudge to turn on the CD I’d already listened to. It was Priscilla Shirer.

One part arrested me. I hit stop, found a place to pull off in a parking lot, wrote down the line she just said, played the next, stopped and wrote it down and continued that until I had it all.

“The weapon the enemy wants to use against you,[1] he does not have the equipment to build until you hand it to him. Every single negative word out of your mouth over your circumstances is the material you are handing the enemy so he can construct the weapon he intends to use against your life.

“The scripture says God watches over His word to perform it.[2] You have to decide. Do you want to give the enemy something to work with or do you want to give God something to work with? Life and death are in the power of your tongue.[3] Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth.[4]

“Speak well of your circumstance even though you haven’t seen the Red Sea divide yet, speak well over your circumstance because we serve a God who watches over His word to perform it.”

“Thanks Priscilla,” I said as if she was sitting nearby. But then came the hard part.

If a situation is a trial, it is negative. So how do I voice it in a positive sense? I know how to speak negatively. That’s how most people look at things that are difficult. 

Everyone except my daughter, Jenny. She is always optimistic. If I am bummed it is raining, she’ll say, “But the rain makes a lovely rhythm beating on the roof.” If it’s too hot, she loves the warmth of the sun. If a cashier is rude, she smiles and tells her to have a nice day.

There’s very little that can dampen my daughter’s spirits. Her t-shirt that says, “Just Be Joy” is exactly what she is—joy personified.

I thought I could look at the situation like Jenny does. So I began trying to do that.

Halfway through, realized that’s really not what God meant by watching over HIS word to perform it.

It’s not just looking at it optimistically, because that denies its existence. It is looking at it potentially—for what can come out of it that is good. I decided, then, to look at my circumstance the way God sees it rather than the way any person would.

Every circumstance we come up against that makes us feel fearful, intimidated, angry, sad, depressed, lonely, overwhelmed, tired, disappointed, deflated, rejected, discouraged or any other negative word you use, is one the devil can use to form a weapon against us if we just share our angst with him.

Every fiery trial is something God can use for good if we align our thinking with His.

He sees the potential—what we will be like when we come though the difficulty by clinging tightly to Him. He sees how the trial will change us, mold us, humble us, make us more dependent on Him.

I began to pray again, but this time it was not an oh-woe-is-me-rescue-me-God prayer. Instead, I began to thank Him[5] for bringing the frustration and sense of overwhelm.

As I did I began praying out loud driving down the interstate. I prayed specifically about the future outcome of what how now become in my mind a monumental blazing fiery trial, could bring once it was resolved. I prayed for breakthrough that only God could orchestrate.

When I was finished, I was amazed. I was really seeing the circumstance from God’s perspective. Things I had voiced in my prayer had never crossed my brain until they came out of my mouth that day.

Is this why in the midst of a trial we don’t feel our prayers are answered? Could it be that God is orchestrating an even bigger answer than just getting us out of our current uncomfortable state by bringing us through the fire so that we are purified and ready for service?

I had been prophesying the outcome by praying without focusing on my feelings, but the greatness of my God to perform His word. And what I prayed would happen was definitely beyond my wildest imagination, dream or request.[6]

I was no longer feeding the fire of the enemy. Since he had no material to use to form the weapon against me, the fire died out.

Don’t get me wrong. The circumstance was still there. It’s just that my perspective on it changed.

God wants none to perish.[7] He loves us.[8] He has plans for our good.[9] We will be victorious[10] when attached to Him.

In the midst of trials and tribulations, it’s hard to see the outcome. That’s why we need to come up higher, pray positively, pray gratefully and pray expectantly.

When we attach our faith to what He has said, we not only expect Him to perform what He promised, we know He will. His word never returns void.[11]

There’s really no reason to try to eat yourself out of a dilemma. It just doesn’t work.

So how do we fight a fiery trial? How do see the mile-high blaze extinguished before our eyes? How do we relieve the angst we feel?

We fight the fiery trial with the fire of the Holy Spirit. We thank God in the midst of the trial. We look at the situation from God’s perspective. And we believe Him when He says, “Don’t worry. I’ve gotcha covered.”

What trial are you going through? How can you see it from God’s perspective? How can you fight fire with fire?

[1] Isaiah 54:17 ESV

[2] Jeremiah 1:12 ESV

[3] Proverbs 18:21 ESV

[4] James 3:10 ESV

[5] Philippians 4:6 ESV

[6] Ephesians 3:20 MSG

[7] 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

[8] John 3:16 NIV

[9] Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

[10] 1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV

[11] Isaiah 55:11 NKJV

 

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Don’t forget to check out Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and the Sweet Grace Study Guide, both available on Amazon. Just click the book titles to take you there. If you’ve already read the book, I would be honored if you could write a review. Just click the title and it will take you to the Amazon page and simply leave one or two sentences about how you liked  the book. The more reviews there are the more the book moves up in the search rankings. If you’ve not read the book yet, please post a review after you do.

We Dance
Catching Up
Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 260 pounds. "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor" is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. She has two more books, "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help" and "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" in addition to "Sweet Grace" and "Sweet Freedom Study Guides". Her fourth book "Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God" will be available in April 2017. All books are on Amazon. Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss or writing tabs at TeresaShieldsParker.com. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.

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