I started today with the intention of keeping my eyes open for what Christ wanted to reveal to me. Truthfully, I’m not sure how well I did.
But over the years I’ve become convinced to my core that, though my prayers might wish otherwise, Jesus does not always press the magic button and activate His righteous desires in me right away. Just because I stumble upon His will in a particular area of my life, He doesn’t immediately open the floodgates of heaven.
His ways are higher than my ways. That is, He doesn’t operate using some binary, black and white formula that I can always understand and manipulate for my own security and well-being. Sometimes, He is seeking to take me down a mysterious, fiery path in order to burn away all that is not of Him and to sharpen me for His good purposes. Whatever they may be.
And so when I get to the end of the day — after the sun has set and our two toddlers have finally sunk into their beds — I am forced to confront my frustrations with what didn’t happen today, with what was supposed to happen in my day. And in my heart.
At the end of these days, I hear the voices of accusation and condemnation seeking to slay me, or at least drive another dagger into my soul to leave a lasting scar to handicap my walk. But those are the voices of the enemy. And when we hear those voices, the Holy Spirit rises up and shouts, “No!” And it’s exactly in these moments when choosing where we cast our eyes makes all the difference. We listen best to whom, or Whom, we are looking during our trials.
But God is faithful. His Spirit promises to comfort us. It’s a promise — and it’s high time, in these end times, that we start coming to terms with the Truth of His promises. Is He faithful or not? I’ve been using a daily promise calendar published by David Wilkerson. I can’t tell you how many times the Holy Spirit has used a single verse to help me see more clearly. There is power in His promises.
Tonight was yet another example of this, though I also pulled the verse before it.
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6,7)
Christ receives no glory when I do everything just right. He receives no glory when I coast along the smooth concrete pathways of life. But He does receive praise and glory and honor when I allow Him to have His way and refine me, even with fire and suffering. Because in those fiery trials Jesus shows up — just like He did in King Nebakanezer’s furnace. He is faithful. And those three trusting servants of the Lord weren’t the only ones who saw Him either. No, even the king beheld a fourth man in the fire. A Saviour who enters and overcomes the fire, Could you imagine a greater glory?
When our eyes are on the Faithful One, others will see His glory shining upon our faces, brighter than any fire of man.
This morning during one of my morning classes, I watched a student walk into my classroom who had been absent the last three days of class. I have no idea what her story is, and maybe it’s nothing of any consequence. But I felt a heavy spirit walking in her shoes. Before the bell rang, I heard her tell a classmate sitting beside her that she did not want to be here today
When it was time for the students to begin doing their independent work, I looked up from my desk and saw that she had her Bible open on her desk and was writing something. She was what the world calls “off-task,” though I wasn’t bothered or offended. I let her take the time. And after a little while, she finally opened her class materials and got to work. She needed to get herself centered and get her eyes in the right place.
Life is messy sometimes. But when we gaze into the eyes of our Saviour, things start happening beyond ourselves. And there, beyond ourselves, is the only place expansive enough to reveal the “praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Sometimes we don’t want to be sitting in the fiery classroom of life. But when we have our eyes fixed on the joy and peace who is with us, glory shines. It’s a promise.