Have you ever felt like you were tested, tried, and proven? Saul had to prove himself to the apostles in Jerusalem, for he wasn’t accepted as quickly as he was in Damascus as a new convert.
When he arrived in Jerusalem, “He tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 9: 26-27)
Peter was traveling about the country, and he went to visit the saints in Lydda. He healed a paralytic man who had been bedridden for eight years, and many came to the Lord. Hallelujah!
“In Joppa, there was a disciple named Tabitha, who was always doing good and helping the poor.” (Acts 9: 36) She became sick and died. Peter was told to “Come at once!” Since he was in Lydda and was near Joppa, he went.
All the widows were crying when he entered where Tabitha was, upstairs. Peter sent them all out of the room, got down on his knees and prayed. Turning his head toward the dead girl he says, “Tabitha get up! She opened her eyes and seeing Peter she sat up. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.” (Acts 9: 40, 42)
- Miracles, signs, and wonders bring people to the Lord.
- Many are looking to find the Lord.
Job, in his heartache, spoke this forth: “If only I knew where to find Him; if only I could go to His dwelling.” (Job 23: 3)
- How many times do we look back and say, “If only I…”
We must learn to keep our eyes on Jesus when we are suffering, it helps us to not look back. When God seems silent it’s so very difficult to stay focused on Him. I am learning this principle, the older I get:
- Delay does not mean denial.
- His tests are for a reason, and they bring us forth as gold, all shiny.
“He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23: 10)
- Hold tight, man or woman of God, the testing will be over soon.
- In times of testing, learn to ask God what He is trying to show us.
- Let His Word be your daily bread.
“Treasure the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” (Job 23: 12)
A New Provision: For forty years while the Israelites were in the desert, their daily bread was manna. Now God will provide Israel with food from the promised land. “That year, they ate of the produce of Canaan.” (Joshua 5: 12)
- Provision and new provision comes from the Lord.
- Sometimes that provision comes from another direction. Keep your eyes open. Trust God to provide.
Joshua gets a visit from the Commander of the Army of the Lord with a drawn sword in his hand. Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence and asked him, “What message does My Lord have for his servant? “The Commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing is holy. And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5: 13)
- The sword is the Word of God.
Joshua was given His word, delivered by the Word (Jesus), declaring one word: Holy!
How does the Lord direct Joshua to conquer Jericho? To march around the city once for six days, with the armed men, positioning the shofars in front, carrying them. Then on the seventh day, march seven times around with the priests blowing the shofars. Upon the sound of the blowing shofar, have all the people give a shout. Joshua obeys and the wall collapsed around the city and they all rush in and take the city.
The two men who spied out the land earlier, go to get Rahab to save her and her family, as they had promised her. They position them outside the camp of Israel.
“The Lord was with Joshua and his fame spread throughout the land.” (Joshua 6: 27)
Joshua, Job and Saul were all tested, tried and proven. Every disciple goes through this process in Biblical days and today. While in the refiner’s fire, we can hold on to:
“With you I can attack a line of soldiers. With my God I can break through barricades. God’s way is perfect! The promise of the Lord has proven to be true. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him. Who is God but the Lord? Who is a rock except our God?” (Psalm 18: 29-31)
- In the battles, God was with them; God is with us.
(Acts 9: 26-43, Job 23, Joshua 5: 2-6:27, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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