By Jeremy Lopez
I was at lunch recently with a sister who has been through an incredibly hard year. I cannot even describe all she and her husband have been through, in almost every area of their lives.
Some things just bizarre, and occurring in a seemingly relentless and often simultaneous manner. But as I was sharing with her, I told her I was able to see in both of them a new strengthening, establishing and upgrade coming their way!
The manifestations of the spiritual upgrades were actually sequels of physical upgrades now coming to their home. As I said, they had one issue after another appear, sometimes simultaneously. Many things needed to be demolished, fixed, removed, replaced and upgraded.
The list went on and on, at home and at work.
Looking back now, she did admit that if the first event had never happened (a flood), more serious issues would not have been uncovered. At first it looked like, "Chicken Little, the sky is falling!" What blessed me even more was that in looking back she was encouraged and could see for herself God's plan.
Once all the demolitions, renovations and upgrades are completed, they will be almost like a "new home." In the spirit even now, they have a greater view of His faithfulness, a newfound strength and stronger resiliency. God is even building a platform in their business to eventually free them up to do kingdom work.
From an outsider's view, I could see some of what God had done in their lives through the difficult journey they endured! Even in the process they had not lost their love for God and others or their sense of humor. They allowed God to work in this, to spite of their lack of understanding of this rough journey.
Some people call it drama, when it should be called real life!
Are You Seeing What I Am?
Remember, God's Word says, new wine will never work in an old wineskin. Using new wine in an old wineskin will cause it to burst! The process of making a new wine skin ready for new wine is laborious. There is always a process before the finished product. But when it is done, it will be as God said when He made the earth, "it is good."
Remember, Joseph's lessons and preparation for his upgrade came in the pit, not the palace.
Transition is never easy. It is the worst part in the natural birthing process! But it is a necessary part of the process. Joy returns with the birth, and the pain is forgotten in the person of the new life!
But while this couple was going through all of these trials, at home and work, that is not what they saw. The inclination could have been to wonder if God has forgotten them, or a faulty expectation that things would always be this "insane" and "difficult" all the time. Or have the "hard place" mindset. "Do I dare think things will ever get better?" Hardship becomes the norm and hope is disappointed. This is a major strategy and attack of the enemy on hope! "Stinkin' thinkin'" for sure. Ever been there?
The Bible says: "And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Rom. 5:5).
How do you know the lie? Well you have to know the truth first!
The Bible also says in 1 Peter 5:10, "But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will restore, support, strengthen, and establish you."
It sounds like the Lord is not surprised at all by this. I am a firm believer that nothing passes the throne of grace without His permission. That there is a process and plan and means to an end. His end! Have you ever said to God, "Could we learn this another way, maybe?"
Using All for Good
Or have you said, "Lord, you and I do not agree with how much I can take." God says He will use all for good, if we let Him.
Romans 8:28 (AMPC) says: " And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose."
He says His grace is sufficient, and He is looking to the final product in us for the tasks at hand He has had for us, before the foundations of time.
In addition, when we are through it, we now have a track record of His faithfulness in the process. When we hit the next mogul or "blip" in our lives, we can say, with greater assurance, God is the same, then and now. We can weather the storm only with more strength and resilience, and less anxiety, if we let the process work for us and remember what He did for us in prior situations.
God does know what He is doing. Do we really believe it?
Jeremiah 29:10-11 (MEV) says, "For thus says the Lord: When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
If anyone has ever done a renovation project, there is always a demolition first, a removal of the old stuff and then the upgrade.
"Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4).
Dying to Self is Never an Easy Process.
Can you see how this translates to us in the spiritual realm? Can you relate? Are you there? Are you in a season of demolition? Take heart, the "upgrades" are on the way. Embrace the process knowing He is and will be faithful.
I sensed the Lord wanting to say, "there are many in a season of seeming demolition. In fact, it has been going on for a long time, with no obvious end in sight." I sense Him also saying, "breakthrough and upgrades are on the way!" I also feel Him say to encourage you to keep the perspective that the demolition is the vehicle to the upgrade.
He also showed me that one of the greatest battles Christians face is to not be troubled. This is another strategy of the enemy, the ultimate troubler. If in these situations we can recognize the source of our strife, it becomes easier to ward off what is coming from the enemy, realize it is not from God and keep our peace and joy in this process. James 4:7 says, "Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
"Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in Me" (John 14:1).
"For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, so shall we also be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom. 6:5).
Scripture says also we will share in His glory as well.
Take heart; breakthroughs and upgrades are on the way!
Josephine Marie Ayers