For the past several weeks there seems to be some real challenges and trials going on in peoples lives including our own. But I want to encourage you that it is all for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Rom 8).
Last night I was asking the Lord about some things that were going on with us and with those around us, and why it was happening. During the night, Luke 4 came to my heart. So this morning I looked it up and it is the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by the devil. And as I read it I thought too of the scripture in 1 Peter 4:12 "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may overjoyed when his glory is revealed."
Just like Jesus, our hearts are tested. Prov 17:3 "The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart." and James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
The testing needs to happen so that we know what is actually in our heart and what we truly believe. Sometimes the things that come out and are shown are areas that may need some renewing of the mind, and other times they are things that show us actually our heart and motives are pure. So the testing of our faith is all for the good and the promises that come with that testing is the crown of life, is His glory and joy.
In the Luke 4 story where Jesus is tempted by the devil after the temptation he comes away walking in power and authority as it says in Luke 4:14 "Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside." v 32 "They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority." v36 "All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!" And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area."
I know for myself I want to be walking in this way, walking with power and authority, so that news about Jesus spreads throughout all of New Zealand, through all of the world and in order for this to happen I need to undergo some testing of my heart, some refining of the fire, so that I am a weapon fit for its work (Isaiah 54), so that I am a vessel useful for every good work (2 Tim 2:20-21).
Recently I was given a picture by two people, the same picture, and it was of grapes being pressed but in the pressing the oil was coming forth. I know that this is happening, that the pressing is happening but I am also believing that the oil of the anointing that sets the captives free will come forth even more, to see cancer flee, to see the lame walk, to see the blind see and so I encourage you allow whatever pressing may be happening in your life and believe that through it all the oil of the anointing will come forth, that like Jesus, the power and authority will come forth, and Jesus will be glorified on the earth and we will be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.