Wow, I can hardly believe that 2013 is already 1/6th gone!

And I really can’t believe that it has been nearly five months since my last post.

Yikes.

Life hasn’t been dull in the least over the past few months, so I thought I’d summarize briefly some of the lessons I’m learning in this phase of the training God has for my life.
I’ve learned. . .

That God delights in using our weaknesses.
It is only when we are at our weakest that He is able to use us wholly, purely for His purposes.

That the prayer for “divine assistance” is one God loves to answer.
I learned the secret to praying this way from David Brainerd, and over the past few months, I’ve prayed this countless times when I felt myself so overwhelmed by the weight of the responsibility God has called upon me to carry. It has been such a blessing to see God never fail to come to my aid when I seek Him whole-heartedly. He really does love to show up and show off!

That sometimes, we don’t go through trials for our own sake. We go through them for others.
One particular trial has really forced me to draw closer to Christ. But I’m discovering that I’m not going through it just for my own good—-but for others around me. This trial has given me the ability to empathize with other hurting gals….and encourage them that this really did “come to pass.” It’s given me a unique opportunity to reach out as God continues to shower me with His grace to endure. My heart’s prayer is to be a beggar, eager to show other beggars where to find bread.

That God care about all our desires, the big ones AND the little ones.
I continue to be amazed by my Father’s love and tender care. I love the words of James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.”

He knows what we want and desire—and He cares about answering those desires in BIG ways. I learned this is in a powerful way last month with a purchase of a new car for work. We had a wishlist, but were told that it would be quite the longshot to find exactly what we wanted. God not only provided all the funds to purchase it outright in cash, but He answered every single item on our wishlist, down to the very color we liked, leather interior, like new condition, AND a sunroof! Praise the Lord!

That we truly can “count it all joy” in the midst of the fires of life.
I love the words of Romans 8:18 – “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” God is working a miracle in each of our lives, and even in the tough times, we can truly count everything as joy. But honestly, what do we have to be joyful about in the midst of the chaos?

I discovered the answer to that recently while thinking about that verse in James. We can purposefully and whole-heartedly count it all joy because we are learning the lessons that God wants to teach us, which could not have been learned any other way except through trials. As much as I would like it otherwise, you can’t learn character in easy times. There’s no vitamin to take for patience, longsuffering, endurance, meekness, or humility. You only learn these lessons through the fires of life.

And that’s why we can be joyful.

We can be joyful in knowing that as bad as it seems, we will still come out as gold, thanks to the Refiner’s fire as He melds these character traits into our hearts and lives through suffering. And that is something to be quite joyful about, I reckon!!!

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