“Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ-eternal and glorious plans they are!- will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, He does.” 1 Peter 5:10-11
This young woman found me at a woman’s conference right after I shared the morning devotional. She told me that while I was speaking she heard the Lord tell her to share with me to study the book of 1 Peter. I gave her a hug walked out the door to the little tables overlooking a beautiful pond with a fountain and opened my Bible. The pages seemed to jump out at me. At the time I was on a high believing that I would feel this good forever. I had much passion but very little experience.
A ministry was born from these verses. Little did I know that pain would be my constant companion since the call to ministry 5 years ago. Each step of the way I am forced to rely on God. My faith was brutally born out of the depths of misery. As God would promote me strange things would happen with my health, finances, or living situation. Depression was always lurking and my faith wavered for several years.
I look back now and see that each trial and test of faith was a building block to greater ministry by way of compassion and understanding. God is using all these experiences and His rich goodness as I walk through yet another trial. This time is different though. I have so many experiences to look back on. I can see His hand and feel His presence. I am aware that when God calls me to use my gift the demons aren’t far behind to try to stop me.
Take heart if you are in a fiery trial. The plan is for you to be spiritually alert, focused, and mature. Don’t keep having to repeat the same trials to learn the same lesson. Choose faith, have hope, and stay strong because He gets the last word.