“THROUGH THE FIRE”
RANDALL J. BREWER
It started out as a good week. You have been a devoted Christian for nearly ten years now and you have committed your life in total surrender to your Heavenly Father. Daily you study the scriptures as you search out God’s perfect will for your life. You have been a faithful giver for quite some time now and prosperity has come to every area of your life.
A top employee at your place of employment is retiring and you know that during the special meeting the boss called for at the end of the week you are going to be offered a promotion for the new opening. You were equally elated when your brother-in-law informed you that he had a pair of tickets to the championship ballgame that’s been sold out for months. Also, a good friend of yours told you of a new fishing hole he had found and you were finally going to get a chance to use the new boat you purchased two weeks ago.
Last weekend you shot your best round of golf ever and you were informed of a golf cart on sale at a special price. Your travel agent just called and confirmed your reservations for the Caribbean cruise you plan to take your wife on next month for your fifteenth wedding anniversary. And finally, this Friday you will make the final payment on the mortgage to your house. Everything is going good for you.
God is doing a new thing in your life and He has anointed you to start a much needed ministry at your church. Life is grand! You are filled with the joy of the Lord and the peace of God rules in your heart. The wife is happy, the kids are getting good grades in school, and you finally lost that thirty pounds you’ve been so desperately trying to lose. Yes sir, it has been a good week, glory to God. What could possibly go wrong?
Before you know it Friday arrives. You wake up filled with enthusiasm as you get dressed for work. You just know that promotion is yours, you just know it. There is a bounce in your step as you kiss the wife goodbye and head out the door. You hear yourself singing, “Zippity-do-dah, zippity-yah. My, oh my, what a wonderful day.” You jump in the air and kick your two heels together.
Today will be a good day! Just then you notice that during the night somebody let the air out of all four of your tires. “That’s okay,” you tell yourself, “nothing that a few shots from our new air compressor can’t solve.” You turn toward the garage and are greeted with the fact that also during the night somebody had sprayed paint all over the front of your house. “Nope,” you say, “I also will not let that bother me.
The wife and I talked about getting new siding for the house and now we’ll have an excuse to do it.” You get the air compressor, fill up the tires, climb into the front seat of your car and all you hear is silence as you turn the key. You close your eyes and lean forward as you begin to band your head on the steering wheel. “This can’t be happening,” you murmur as you wonder what could be wrong now. You open the hood and yep, you were right, somebody had stolen the new battery you had just put in the car three days before.
Having never been late for work you realize you better go inside and call your boss to inform him that you might be a little late this morning. When you do his sad voice informs you that during the night a fire had burnt the company to the ground and since he, too, was close to retirement he had decided not to rebuild.
All employees, therefore, were out of a job and would have to look for work elsewhere. Stunned and speechless you pit the phone down and look up only to see your little daughter standing in the doorway with her tiny face and body covered with the measles. Your wife suddenly runs into the room with tears running down her cheeks as she frantically tries to tell you that the huge expensive diamond that was on her engagement ring is no longer there.
The phone rings and as you try to take in everything that’s just happened you pick up the receiver and are told that the dreaded in-laws are on their way to your house for a three week vacation. You put the phone down and roll your eyes upward where you notice fresh water spots on the ceiling that came to be there as a result of having a hole in your roof. You shake your head in mock surrender and ask God the most often asked question of all time, “Why me, Lord?”
Does this story relate to you? It may seem to be a little far-fetched but the message remains the same. Tests and trials come into the lives of every born-again believer, even more so to those who have been anointed by God to destroy the influence of the enemy in the earth. And it is in the midst of all these trials that we read in James 1:12 (MSG), “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate.”