Faith under fire

Main Verse: “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8

samantha deleon, el dorado hills, rolling hills church, christian faith, stress management

“Why? Why is this so hard?!” The questions I ask myself almost daily about my ability as a wife and mom. It seems when I take 2 steps forward, my insecurities take me back 5. Do I lack faith? This morning, I felt God saying, “you need to welcome the fire.”

In reading Matthew and Mark, the disciples don’t seem to fully understand who Jesus is until after the resurrection. They followed Jesus day after day, leaving their lives behind and still didn’t quite get it. Even with a couple glimpses of Jesus’ power including His transfiguration (Mark 9), God audibly telling the disciples to listen (Mark 9:7), all the miracles they witnessed and even performed themself. They still didn’t fully understand the significance of Jesus until their faith was put through the fire of fear and doubt.

It isn’t that they didn’t believe in Jesus. It was their lack of faith in Him. BUT, it is here He reveals His power.

When we hit rock bottom, or when life’s fire is consuming us, is when He reveals Himself.

Like in the Old Testament of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego:

“And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames. But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?” “Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied. “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” ‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:22-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Another example, Jesus finds on our road of doubt and despair, as He did with the two followers on the road to Emmaus, after He was crucified.

“That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them...Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:13, 15, 25-27, 32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus meets with us, holds our hands and graciously reminds us He is there.

That is why Paul welcomes the fire:

“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:8-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So welcome the fire. Welcome the weaknesses. Welcome the fears and doubts. It is when we become aware of them, Jesus will reveal His power!

My challenge to you when you are in the fire or just feel a hint of heat, instead of asking “why is the happening?”, try asking “what can I learn from this?”.

Post written by: Samantha DeLeon Samantha has grown up going to church, but didn't encounter Jesus until her mid-thirties. Jesus met her on a road of anxiety and over commitment, turning her faith from a spectator sport to a team player on the field. Samantha's mission is to encourage women like herself, "the overachiever-need to help everyone-over committed-never full" life into the abundant life Christ promises and trust Him through life's ups and downs. Samantha is a California native, married to her high school sweetheart and they have 3 school-aged children.