By Jeff Arnold
1 Peter 5:10, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
When God saves us, He puts our name in the Lamb’s book of life. He washed away everything in our previous life and gave us energy and power to walk with God. God is in love with us. God is our partner in another world. His eye is on the sparrow. He is watching us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. No weapon formed against us can prosper. We are greater in the Holy Ghost than any adversary we will ever face.
Even though we are feeling discouraged and disillusioned, we just have to have the knowledge; “He loves me!”
Heaven will only let Hell mess with us just so far, and then Heaven is going to slap Hell up side it’s head and say, “Now that’s enough, that’s my daughter, that’s my son, I’m not going to let this trial destroy them, I’m going to let this thing develop them, they are going to discover some stuff, but don’t you get the foolish idea that because I let you mess with them that I put them up for adoption. They are My children and NOTHING is gonna take them out!”
The Psalmist in Psalm 23 says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies….” God delights to just get us in a mess that we just can’t get out of and then He just turns around and becomes our waiter. Here’s your enemy over there with all kinds of chariots, and guns, and spears, and hatred, and violence and God just spreads a table in the midst of the enemy and says, “Sit down and eat, watch them!”
Job said, “He setteth an end to the darkness!” HELL doesn’t set an end to it; God sets an end to it!
Too many of us accept the hell we’re going through as if it’s final. Don’t build a condominium in your dilemma, you aren’t going to be there long, you’re just passing through. It’s not final until Jesus says it’s final. Jesus isn’t going to leave us in a valley of despair and let us lose our mind and go crazy. The devil is a liar!
Sometimes we have to look at something and shout at it, “This too shall pass! I am gonna pass through, and it is gonna pass away!”
Church won’t fix trouble. We have to get pregnant with a seed of promise and then we have to nurture the seed and water it with prayer and then let it sprout, so that we can live it out. We need church to agitate us apostolically, so that when we walk out, we can give Hell a bad headache.
Nobody can put a disease on us unless God lets it come. The devil couldn’t go to Job’s house until he got permission. We have a greater covenant than Job; there is no devil that can come to our life, or our house, unless he gets permission. If he gets permission, then that means that God knows that it’s not going to take us out!
The only reason some people don’t have hell in their life is because Heaven knows they can’t be trusted w trouble.
When the Israelites came through the Red Sea and God killed all their enemies by letting the waters roll back on them…according to 1 Corinthians 10: they were baptized unto Moses in the sea and the cloud. That’s the picture of the new birth: Water, Spirit. But notice that when they went through the water, Egypt couldn’t follow—they all drowned.
When we were water baptized in Jesus name after we repented of our sins, there wasn’t a single former devil that was allowed to follow us through, water. We buried the old life, the man. He may come up with some kind of new temptation in a new dress, but he has no power over us now; he has no authority over us. All he can do is suggest stuff to us, and we can either react, or reject.
When it comes to hunting, the reason why the deer, or the animals, run through the water is so that the dog can’t get the scent. The thing that was on its trail loses its scent in the water.
All that poor dog can say is, “Boss, I’m pointing right here, he went in here, I don’t know where he came out!”
That dog would have a heart attack trying to find some ol’ hell-bound sinner that decided to repent and jump in the water. He’ll be up there sniffing around the water and never find us. Be glad for the blood of Jesus that covers and hides and cleanses us from all sin and all unrighteousness. Thank God for water baptism in Jesus name!!!
When your adversary gets on your case and tries to remind you of your past just say, “Hold on there, you ignorant…” and point to the water!
When they came out unto the other side of the Red Sea the only problem that they had trouble with was Amalek, the grandson of Esau, the flesh relative. The only thing you have trouble with AFTER you get out of the water—it’s not old Pharaoh, it’s your flesh relative. One thing held you prisoner; the next one just comes to live with you.
It’s the old story of Ishmael and Isaac. The problem you have with flesh (Ishmael) is that it’s older than Isaac. Ishmael was 13 when Isaac showed up.
Ishmael had 13 years to just entrench itself in that life and get real nasty. It makes you wonder why you still have occasional struggles with anger and selfishness and lack of patience. Welcome to the club—it’s your flesh!
Psalm 50:14-15, “Offer unto God thanksgiving and pay thy vows unto the Most High and call upon me in the day of trouble and I’ll deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me.”
So God is promising us trouble, but He is also promising that if we call upon Him in the day of trouble, He will answer and He will snatch us out of it when He thinks trouble has done its ministering to us.
Micah 7:7, “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; and 1 will wait for the God of my salvation, my God will hear me. 7:8, Rejoice not against me oh thine enemy when I fall I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me, :9, 1 will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against
It seems to be fair that if we’ve sinned against Him we then need to bear His anger and His chastisement.
7:9, “…until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me:…”
But it just said that He was going to serve indignation on him. But mercy always rejoices against judgment.
7:9 “…he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.”
Trouble Comes With a Promise! – We Advance By Adversity – Affliction Has the Power to Cause You to Multiply and Grow and Become Everything God Wants You to –
Genesis 15:13-14, “…and they shall afflict 400 years;” and then that nation that messes with you and afflicts you, I’m gonna judge and then afterwards….
God, who has led you into this problem, has put on His calendar an “AFTERWARD” for you! This moment will not be your burial plot, you have been promised an afterward. :14, “…and they shall come out with great substance.”
God is saying:
Your Agony is Going to Produce Riches –
Your Suffering is Going to Produce a Level of Prosperity Both Physically and Spiritually That You Don’t Know Anything About –
You Think I’ve Abandoned You Because I’ve Let You Go Through Your Disaster and You’ve Prayed and I Haven’t Said a Word To You and Explained to You Why I’ve Let This Happen, But You’ve Got to Believe That 1 Haven’t Turned You Over to the Devil One Time! –
I’ve Never Let Hell Do Anything to You That Would Drive You Absolutely Out of Your Mind –
I May Use Him to Mess With You But He is NOT in Charge of Your Life –
“Situations that hinder us, don’t ever hinder Him!”
What hinders us does not hinder God; it sets a platform for Him to show Himself strong. Sometimes God cannot get us to a higher plateau and to a deeper commitment unless He puts us through the furnace of affliction. That way, when we come out on the other side, there will be no divided allegiance. We will know that if it had not been for the Lord, who was on your side, you’d of lost your mind, quit church and been livin’ like a fool. When you get on the other side, it’s guaranteed that the praise will be funneled and focused in one direction.
Substance and suffering are linked to each other. Trouble and treasure are partners. We advance through adversity.
Until you and I can say like David of old, “It was good for me to be afflicted.” Psalm 119:71.
Genesis 46:1, “And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.”
The key to getting the vision that you need for the fiasco that you are fighting is to offer a sacrifice.
Through your sacrifice God will talk to you, God will make His way plain to you, God will make you understand that you are not going through “your thing” by yourself. He put you in and He will bring you out.
46:2 “And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night…”God’s vision, we need GOD’S vision.
46:3 “…fear not to go down into Egypt;”
Don’t be afraid to go down into your trouble. Trouble DOES NOT have the power to destroy you, it only has the power to bless you and increase you. When you come out of your trouble you will be more than you were before you went in. You will come out with great substance, you will come out with a perfected praise, and you will come out with a purity of faith.
God is so big and awesome He will never put you in something that He can’t bring you out of. But He won’t bring you out until the adversity, and the affliction, and the trouble, and the pain, and the sorrow, and the setback, accomplishes His will! God doesn’t want to bring us out if we are still self-centered, biased, and filled with bitterness and hatred.
He wants you to get purified in your furnace, so that He can give you stuff and you won’t get intoxicated with it.
46:3 “…for I will THERE make of thee a great nation:”
Bless me Lord. Okay, here’s trouble, Oh, Lord put Your hand on me. “Okay, here’s a bunch of hell and chaos and stuff you can’t fix, you can’t govern and you can’t control. But child I want you to know, I’m going to control the hell, I’m going to keep the furnace at the right temperature, I’m going to watch over you, and I am promising you, child of God, I’m going to make of you THERE a great nation!”
We all want to become a great nation for God, a holy people, zealous of good works, but we don’t want trouble and we don’t want the furnace of affliction. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! He said, “I’ll make of you THERE a great nation.”
You can tell you are getting mature when you kiss the chains that hold you and you bless the situation that hurts you and you can say, “It was good for me that 1 was afflicted.”
We are appointed to trouble, we are appointed to affliction, we are appointed to adversity. We have to understand WHO appointed us. Job said, “When HE HATH TRIED ME.” (Job 23:10). Satan thought he was doing it, and God just laughed and said, “No, Satan works for Me, pain works for Me, financial pressure works for Me.” EVERYTHING that comes into your mind and into your heart and into your body has got to pass God’s desk, and if He gives it permission, it is sent on a mission! “In your sorrow, in your pain, In your failure, In your disappointment, In your setback!” THERE—you’re going to become a great nation!
Psalm 50:14-15, “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High. :15, And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
Trouble is NOT a sign of divine displeasure. Trouble is more or less a vote of trust that YOU CAN MAKE IT! It is flattery from your foe. Trouble is admission from your adversary that you have something that he needs to steal.
That you possess something that makes him try to distract you and deter you from reaching your destiny.
Hell tried to put John on Patmos Island to separate this disciple from the rest of the body to drive him crazy, or let him have a nervous breakdown, lose his mind…but guess what? Jesus showed up and gave him 22 chapters of the book of Revelation.
John didn’t get 22 chapters while walking with Jesus and everything was fine. It was when he was in his adversity, when he was in his affliction.
Daniel 3:28, “Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.” (That’s Nebuchadnezzar saying that!)
God is trying to get the pagans in this world to praise Him, and if you and I will go through our furnace of affliction and our valley of darkness, God will bring us out and make the heathen praise Him. If we stop complaining about our trip to Egypt and our night of affliction and our furnace, God said that He will not only bring us out, He will make our captors bless us.
When we come out of “Egypt” He will make Egypt give us more stuff than we can carry (Exodus 12:35-36, “And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:”
:36, “And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent (granted) unto them such things as they required (requested). And they spoiled (plundered) the Egyptians.”
The issue is not about the three Hebrews going into the furnace. It was the only way God could get a pagan king to praise Him. Nebuchadnezzar wouldn’t buy into their religion, he wouldn’t buy into their doctrine, and he didn’t appreciate their separation. But when God put them in the furnace, He was saying, “Watch this!” They didn’t have to witness, or teach a 10-week Bible study, because when those three Hebrews came out of that furnace the pagan said, “Bless God!” Nebuchadnezzar then knew that God was better than the gods and idols that he worshipped.
Daniel 3:28 continued, “…who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might serve nor worship any god, except their own God.”
“Yielded their bodies!” They didn’t want to go through it; they were scared half to death, that’s okay. God doesn’t think you’re backslid because you are frustrated, or because you are scared half to death, just go in it. Say to yourself, “If I die here, I die here. It don’t matter, I’m going to yield myself, because my times are in His hands and the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord.”
:29, “Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language which speak anything amiss against The God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.”
In Verse 29 Nebuchadnezzar is making a favorable proclamation for the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. God can make the governor, or mayor of our own city do the same. We must go through our furnace of affliction for the sake of those that need our testimony.
:30, “Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.” You don’t have to fuss and cuss and cheat and do all kinds of stuff to get ahead. You just go through your furnace of affliction, you just go through your dark night and testing and trial, God will promote you, God will elevate you, God will bring you into a place of prominence!
Genesis 41:51-52, “And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. :52, And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God bath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” He went into affliction, but he came out with more.
Daniel 6:19-28, “Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste unto the den of lions. :20, And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, 0 Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?”
:21, “Then said Daniel unto the king, 0 king, live forever. :22, My God bath sent his angel, and bath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. :23, Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.”
:24, “And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. :25, Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.”
:26, I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he Is the living God, and stedfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. :27, He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who bath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. :28, So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”
We cannot endure our afflictions if we are not convinced that Jesus is ALPHA AND OMEGA! HE is the finisher AND THE END! If He put us in we must believe that He can get us out!
Philippians 1:6, “And this is the confidence we have that he that has begun a good work shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
That literally means that He is going to finish what He started.
God used Egypt as an incubator to turn a family into a nation. To turn 70 into 3 million. Egypt might ask, “How did you guys get so big and strong?” Answer. “Oh, we’ve been through 400 years of hell.” We are going to forced to live out in the laboratory of life what we celebrate in the church house about!
Exodus 1:12, “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.”
Don’t worry about your “down time”, even Jesus had some “down time”, He was down for three days. He said, “…don’t worry about My down time, just watch when I get up. Because when I get up I’m gonna be balder than I was before. Because now I’ve destroyed the devil, and I’ve conquered the power of death, and I’ve altered the spirit world….”
Don’t fuss and cuss about your down times, you’re fixin’ to get up, and when you come out, Hell is gonna have a bad day!
Stay faithful in your trial and test. You may go through a slump, sorrow, pain, heartache, brokenness, shame, and setbacks. You may even lose stuff, but if you are a true child of God, your test, trouble, dark night, or furnace of affliction cannot steal your testimony. It will produce a platform for you to proclaim your testimony.
Job said, “…You may take my stuff but my record is on high, and my testimony and witness is in the heavens….”
Psalm 118:17, “1 shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”
Hebrews 2:10, “For it became him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
If indeed the captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, and the disciple is not above his master, but it’s enough for his disciple to be as his master, then we must go through sufferings.
Adversity can produce determination! Determination can produce desperation! Desperation can produce deliverance!!
Every promise comes with its own problems. God has a great sense of humor. He calls three Hebrew patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and He marries all three of them to women who can’t have babies. “Gotcha!!” “Here is your promise; and here, marry ol’ Gertrude over here and here’s your problem. I’m gonna marry the problem and the promise together.” Why? “So you can’t make the promise happen, because if you can make it happen you’ll take the credit. But if 1 marry you to a situation, to a circumstance, to something that you can’t control or fix, when I finally make the promise come to pass there will be no doubt who you will praise that day!”
“…If it had not been for the Lord, who was on our side!”
Can God trust you with trouble?
Psalm 66:12, “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.”
You thought your pain and your problem and your dark night had no purpose to it. But God hid on the other side of your darkness and your furnace of affliction a place called the “wealthy place.” You and I could not have gotten to it; we didn’t know where it was located. God said, “Oh, the wealthy place is on the other side of affliction, trouble, pain, failure, setback, disappointment and sorrow.” WE CANNOT SIDESTEP THAT JOURNEY. We can’t go to the wealthy place until He empties us, so that we won’t take the credit.
Isaiah 48:10, “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.*
Jesus sent His disciples into a storm, He sent the multitude away and He went to pray. If He is all wise, all powerful, knows the end from the beginning, why would He send the church into a storm? Because they needed to see Him in a different role. They needed to see Him in their darkest, stormy night walking toward them on the water. Under His feet will be the thing that’s tormenting them.
Psalm 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”
The cost of being used by the Savior to save others is always total surrender; submission, and adversity, affliction, and trouble.
David was chosen to be the captain of God’s people, but God had to purify him before he ascended to the throne.. Rejection, troubles, hatred, betrayal, problems, weeping, loss…. The biggest thing in David’s way was Saul, but in one second God snatched Saul off the stage.
Go through your journey of adversity and when it is time God will just breathe and there will be a vacancy where you can just step in.
The pathway of problems led to the throne and it caused David to be a better man.
God is so awesome that when He gets ready to bring you out, He can bring you out so fast that you are going to have to have your clothes on, and your shoes buckled and your stuff ready to go (Exodus 12:11.)
Live through your dark night and function in your furnace of affliction and know that you can’t force your way out. God has a TIME! …But when it’s time…HE will bring you out!
You have to believe that you CAN come out and that God WANTS you out. When God decides to take you out of your furnace of affliction there is nothing, nobody, no place, nowhere, and no devil that can keep you from coming out.
God Put You In Your Situation And It Is God That Will Take You Out!
The above article, “Hell Works For Heaven” was written by J. W. Arnold. The article was excerpted from chapter four in Arnold’s book Pulpit Notes Vol. One.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.