6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
In the context of Ezek 36:26-27 & Jn 3:3,16, we understand that when a person goes through the trials God sets before him/her, what sustains that person through that fiery trial is the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, as sited beautifully in Daniel 3:8-28. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the purification process of noble metals such as gold and silver. Noble metals have a very high melting point, much higher than that of its impurities and so when metals like gold and silver are heated up to their melting point, these precious metals are then ready to have the dross removed in their molten metal. This is something along the lines of how we are sanctified into the likeness of Christ or shall I say the image of God. Please note that the likeness is in terms of moral character and not by physical appearance.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
72 The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
73 Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
74 May those who fear You see me and be glad, Because I wait for Your word.
75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
An eminent 19th century theologian Charles Spurgeon once stated that the Christian when afflicted, should not be like a pet dog which bites the stick when disciplined by its master but should instead realize from whose hand his/her trial has come. I am citing this because we very often like to vent ourselves out on inanimate objects and our neighbour for being the reason/source of our anxiety. In such cases we need to step back from that situation and see it from a Biblical perspective so as to learn what God is trying to teach us from His reproof.
8 “Behold, I go forward but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;
9 When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him.
10 “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
It must be understood that one cannot be sanctified into the likeness of Christ unless he/she is born of Christ Spirit, so as to bear noble substance, which comes from the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit (1Jn4:4). I wonder how many of you are familiar with the concept of HALT, which is:
In most cases when you are suffering from anxiety, you are possibly dealing with either one of these trigger factors. In either case you need to HALT and think, what exactly it is that is making you feel so anxious in that moment. If you are grumpy because you are hungry then get something to eat. If you are Angry over something you can do little about then relax and listen to some Mozart, which is really relaxing. If you are Lonely, call up a friend you’ve been meaning to call for some time and have a chat. If there is nobody available for you to talk to in that moment, you can spend some time pouring your heart out to God in prayer. If you are Tired, then put off what you are doing in that moment for a later time if you can, and get some rest.
29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.
8 “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer.
31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Now there are cases where HALT may not work for you and this is precisely what I am writing to you about. Many a times the cause of anxiety is not knowing what we are to do in that moment. In such cases, you need to reflect on what Deut 29:29 has to say and let your soul find its rest in the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt11:28). This is your time to wait on the Lord. Remember, no matter how great your anxiety is in that moment, you need to do what is right in the light of scripture until that moment arises in which God orchestrates a breakthrough for you (2Pet 1:19). Remember, though your trials may be great, if Jesus is indeed your Lord, you need to wait on Him because true prostration unto God lies in seeking the will of God, over your own and Jesus is indeed worthy of such true worship (Jn4:23).
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”
14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Now, you may ask… how exactly does one wait on the Lord so as to find solace in trial? Well, I cannot teach you everything the Bible teaches in this post but I can surely advise you by saying you need to know your Bible from cover to cover. In waiting on the Lord, you are to secure your heart in deliberate and wilful obedience to the Moral Law and take every other destructive thought captive to Christ (2Cor10:5). Remember, the Moral Law states that you shall first love the Lord your God above all and second you ought to love your neighbour as yourself.
25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
To conclude, I would like to say… when faced with anxiety, which you cannot manage with HALT, you need to continue doing whatever you are doing, while guarding your mind against every thought of giving into rampage and yield to that in which is exercising God’s good pleasure but only as that opportunity presents itself in its time. Remember, Christ is Sovereign (Mat28:18)! So your solace in trial is in adhering to Jesus’ way, seeing His purpose and not your own even in the midst of affliction (Prov21:2). This very much defines the Perseverance of the Saints, in which we come forth as gold.
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