Suffering and Refining

 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 

The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Rev 3:14-22

 

So much suffering.

When I think about, and pray for persecuted Christians, and for the many people who are suffering the devastating effects of war and terrorism, I realise how blessed I am. I know I couldn’t cope with what these people go through on a daily basis. 

I have so much, yet I find life so difficult at times. Living with fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression takes it’s toll, yet it’s nothing to what so many in the world suffer. I know I don’t have the strength they have, and I honestly don’t know how they get through each day.

 

The Lord gave me a word. 

It helped me, and I pray it helps someone else too.

 

I placed you where you are, and each person where they are, for my purposes.

You have your own ordeals.

The worst thing for you, in the west, is the godlessness; and the deception in, and state of, the church.

 

You are in a barren, thirsty land.

So many of my people, including you, are suffering: with loneliness, rejection, grief, and lack of true fellowship. 

You have plenty, materially, but spiritually there is lack. 

It’s difficult to keep your faith, and to remain on the straight and narrow path.

 

The suffering, in the west, is different.

Don’t compare yourself to others.

Desire me. Desire truth. 

Remain in the truth.

 

This reminds me of the church in Laodicea. 

Our churches preach prosperity, yet are full of deception.

 

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Rev 3:17

 

We lack the things that are most important: true love of God, with humility, repentance and obedience. In wanting “experiences” to feed our flesh, we have strayed into severe error. We have forgotten that our God is HOLY, and desires obedience to his word. Instead, we’ve twisted the word to suit ourselves.

 

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Rev 3:18

 

If you are going through a hard time right now, it may be that God’s refining fire is at work in you.

 

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Rev 3:19

 

Keep close to Jesus, and open the deep recesses within you, to his love.

 

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. Rev 3:20-21

 

I know that one of the most difficult things for me to do, was, and is, to let God shine his light on errors in my thinking, errors in what I’ve been believing, and the errors in the church. It hurts – a lot. But it’s worth it, for to follow Jesus means to forsake all, even what seemed to be a wonderful church family.

It may mean rejection. It may lead to persecution. It may mean loss of so much that was important to you.

 

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Rev 3:22

 

I believe this is our cross, to turn away from the false church system, to turn away from the error and to embrace the truth.

I pray that God will lead each one of us into his truth, his pasture, and his sheepfold.

 

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?

Do you have a personal relationship with him?

If not, do you realise your need for him?

Have you become lukewarm in your walk, and realise your need to recommit your life to Jesus?

Here is a prayer you can say.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner, and I need you. I thank you for going to the cross to die for me, and for rising again.

I am sorry for everything I have ever done wrong, and I ask you to please wash me clean. I ask you to come into my life to be my Lord and saviour, and I surrender to You.

Please fill me with your Holy Spirit and make me whole. Help me to trust you; help me to love you; help me to live for you. Thank you Lord Jesus, Amen

Whenever we do wrong after this, we need to say we’re sorry and ask for his forgiveness. We need to ask Jesus to help us to change.

Talk to him every day, and listen to him, as he wants to talk to you!

Get a bible: I suggest you begin by reading the Gospels and the Psalms. This will help you to get to know God.

Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you.

Jesus doesn’t promise to make life perfect, in fact there may be more hardship and suffering in following him, but he does promise to give us a purpose and a future: a reason to live!

 

For more, see this post. 

Please let me know, in the comments below, if you have given your life to Jesus, so I can pray for you.

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