"If I allowed your life to be crushed, would you glorify My Name? I don't mean if some tragedies befell you, or if you encountered some great challenges. I'm saying, would you enthusiastically praise Me with all of your being if you became similar to one who had leprosy, as in the Bible? What if I asked you to give away everything you own, even your ability to make money? All of your savings, stocks, furniture, everything -except the clothes on your back -would no longer be owned by you. On top of that, because you gave everything away, all of your friends left you since you couldn't function in the same way as before. You no longer had what it takes to hang around with them.
"If you lost your reputation, scorned by everyone, would you look to Me with praise in your heart, questioning nothing that was happening to you? If I allowed your land to be consumed by hoards of ruthless people bent on destroying you, your family, and friends, how would you tell others about My love for you? I would like to tell you something. None of the above should affect how you proclaim My glory. I have observed those of you who feel full of faith in your safe world. You praise Me because I have allowed you to be blessed. You believe that you could have enough faith to overcome when times are rough. You believe that you would gleefully praise Me when peril is all around you. You are confident fools and you have missed it.
"Those who will be strong in peril are those who are displaying weakness and repenting of it now. In their hardship, I am training them to trust. In their frailty, I am showing them My strength. Great peril is coming and I will have a powerful people, who will acknowledge their weakness and therefore receive My strength.
"To you who are suffering at present, be encouraged. Be submissive and embrace the trial. I am your strong tower and I am imparting My strength to you. I have not forgotten you. In fact, you are the most prosperous of all My children. You have an acute awareness of your need of Me. That is true prosperity. Never forget that nothing I do or allow to happen affects Who I am. You are functioning in My plan, and I will accomplish it in My way. You praise Me, and trust what I'm doing. That is your part. I will be a trustworthy God. That is My part."
1 Cor. 4:9-13 NIV
9) For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.
10) We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!
11) To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.
12) We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
13) when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
Rev. 3:19 AMP
Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].
I used to simply tolerate the "super faith" people, who felt that it was a lack of faith in God to display any form of weakness when in the midst of a trial. Now I feel sorry for them. Anyone who is always "high" either has not submitted to the hand of God for training or he's a liar.
In the above verse, God is calling those who are going through the rigors of training and chastening to be enthusiastic. So many immature believers feel that to have real faith, one must always carry a presence of sweetness and joy, never expressing the reality of the hurt that accompanies growth. In our walk, the Lord over and over brings us to the limit of our ability to tolerate the pressure. At that time, inner joy of God's love may be present; but outwardly, if we were honest, we would have the freedom to say "ouch."
There is a great difference between a self-serving attitude of whining and complaining, and a warlike countenance when our flesh is being destroyed. Under His hand during the time of pressure, we may squirm, squeal, and hurt. The trial shows our weakness; but by our submission, we gain His strength, ready for the next limit of our endurance. The next trial always has higher limits because we have grown.
The enthusiasm that is spoken of in Rev. 3:19 should not be interpreted as enjoying the pain. We are enthusiastic because we have a loving God who cares enough for us to continually take on the responsibility of eliminating our weakness. Jesus Himself endured, tolerated, and hurt on the cross for a future joy. He wasn't smiling in the garden or on the cross. Only at the resurrection was His joy complete. Before that He was real and hurting, but in His pain He was still full of faith and supremely confident in what His Father was doing.
Willing to say "ouch," but remembering the love,