Hi, friends! Happy Thursday. Today I have a special article planned for you. Miss Moriah Simonowich is guest posting here on the blog today and I'm honored to share her encouraging words with you. Please, take a moment to comment below and show her some love for joining us. :)
What if the fiercest point of intensity during a trial proves the sweetest place--the only true place—to experience the nearness of God’s presence?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew their God in the furnace flames. Their circumstances burned and raged, but they were safely sustained, unharmed, by His presence with them in the valley of the shadow of death (see Daniel 3, Psalm 23:4).
They came through that blazing fire completely untouched when survival was deemed absolutely impossible.
They didn’t smell of smoke; they weren’t singed, but oh, they must have shined at having been with Him (v. 27).
God is a God who performs miraculous impossibilities. Nothing is ever too hard for Him. He breathes hope when our hope exhales its last and dies (Luke 1:37; Jer 32:27).
Mining for gold
I’ve always dreaded hardship; most people do.
When trials surface, a lie from Satan is quick to slither through my mind:
This difficulty must go away for me to be happy again.
The truth is, invaluable lessons about God's character and His Word are nuggets of gold that must be mined in the deep bedrock of hardship. Blood, sweat, and tears—repenting of sin and stretching of our faith—are all necessary to claim the treasure of knowing Him more deeply because it simply doesn't come by walking a smooth road of ease.
Experiencing affliction in my body and the fears that have surfaced because of it has taught me to cry out for God in a way that would have never, ever been possible had my life been straight and smooth, no bumps, no trying of my faith.
In trials, God's nearness quells fear
I never thought I would type these words, but after a grueling week of fighting anxiety and scary symptoms from Lyme disease, I can say even trials are a costly gift.
Fear may leap as a fiery flame to lick at us, but it cannot consume because He’s there, His love driving out everything else that’s thieving ugly at our peace and joy...
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior… -Isaiah 43:2-3a
Sin purged during hardship
Trials have a way of erasing all the insignificant comforts and trinkets we cling to that wile away precious, precious time.
Tears flow just thinking of all the moments that I've squandered in my lifetime on foolish sin instead of pursuing Christ, the only way to holiness and sanctification.
How we live our lives as a Christians is how we express our genuine gratitude for what Christ has done for us.
Often, I’ve lived my days quite carelessly.
If the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb, breathed life into my lungs and even now sustains me on this earth came as a baby, the God-man, to die in my place, King of kings dying for the lowest of the low, how am I living to demonstrate thanks?
Do I pour my life out in return or shrug indifferently, maybe unknowingly?
It’s so shameful.
Confess and press on
But, there is a choice. I can cry out to God, asking for forgiveness for all that heinous sin. I can follow Him with fresh fervor.
Isn’t it a mercy that trials do this? It is a chance for closer, richer, deeper communion with God. He gently calls our attention to what Spirit quenching sin must go so our fellowship with Him can be rekindled and our souls purged.
The undying promise
Hunger for God is the most important thing in this world. Anything God allows to come our way that cultivates that hunger is extremely beautiful, dear…
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. -1 Peter 1:6-7
It is indeed precious that Jesus would use trials as a means to purge and purify us until He etches more of Himself onto our souls, made malleable by affliction.
Nothing else matters but the undying promise of God’s nearness—Him never leaving or forsaking, but allowing us to be comforted, held and sustained by the joy of His presence.
No matter what happens or what tragedy comes, the one truth that refutes every arising fear throughout our trials is the comfort of His nearness.
Moriah Simonowich a twenty-year-old living in North Carolina who loves porch swings, wide open skies, lattes, lab puppies, and the crispness of October. It’s rare that she misses an opportunity to slip outside and quietly capture sunsets. Writing is like oxygen to her heart. You can connect with Moriah here:
Isabella Morganthal (21) is a homeschool high school graduate who loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is a drummer, writer, creative arts director, and modern-day abolitionist.