Psalms 34:19 – Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Many in the world who are striving to walk the narrow road to life are going through exactly what Christ said would happen if they are seeking to enter into life. All must suffer with Christ.
2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
If we have been chosen by God, then all must go through the fire and be burned.
Isaiah 48:10 – Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
We are also given a bitter cup to drink from, which many, even after knowing the truth, who walk in the truth and who have tasted of the rich blessings of heaven are encountering this bitter cup of the Lord. Many have found it to be too difficult, but it is not if we trust perfectly in God. Many have entered into this covenant with the Lord and did not understand or know of the Lord’s bitter cup that He Himself drank from more than all.
Matthew 20:22 -Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
It is a fact that Christ has given His people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them. And until the work of cleansing has been accomplished, the bitter cup will remain. It is a bitter cup indeed, and the followers of Christ can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. But those who receive it thus must have another draught, for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not affect the work that is to be accomplished in the life of the professor, then they must have another, and another, and another cup to drink until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy, impure in heart and full of corruption. This bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance, and prayer, which is a fruit the Spirit of God is abiding and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus receive it and bear the fruits of Christ, and thus, God will be honored and glorified.
It is no small thing to be a Christian and to be owned and approved of God. If we are walking with Christ, we must bear the cross.
Luke 9:23 – And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Many claim they love God and His people, but then when affliction comes, and prosperity decreases for a season, so many is then nowhere to be found. Surely, prosperity increases the church with professors, but when the church passes through the fire of affliction they cannot stand the heat and they depart. Those who are strong in the Lord will endure His fire of affliction and the bitter cup.
The wheat, tares and chaff will be revealed more fully as time draws closer to the greatest test known to man. The threshing floor is soon to see who will pass into heavens gates and it is about to become more intense. It is true that many have the standard of piety altogether too low, and they come far short of Bible holiness and character.
Many are engage in vain and unbecoming conversation with those of the world, and others give way to the risings of self and the pleasures and comforts of the world where they put their trust in, which will prove to be a snare in the end. We have a great time of trouble that stands before all living in the last days and we have not a moment to spare preparing for a lovely life of freedom from the bitter cup that was given to the Lord’s people. Those who profess the truth may hide from this bitter cup for a season, or try to ignore it, but if those who are seeking to live in eternity then they will drink and walk through the fire of affliction.
We must be partakers of Christ’s sufferings here in this life if we would share in His glory hereafter. If we seek our own interest, or own selfish gain and for those of our own house hold, turning away from those that are to be eternal family, and think how we can best please ourselves, instead of seeking to please God and advance His precious, suffering cause, we shall dishonor God and the holy cause we profess to love so much. Many can love Christ when it is the easy go time, but when affliction comes, many go off offending, backbiting, blaming others, finger pointing, accusing, recalling things that have no weight in a Christians life. The fruits of darkness are seen visible in the works of those who engage in such things.
Those who hold fast their faith unto the end will come forth from the furnace of trial as fine gold seven times purified. Of this work the prophet Isaiah says…
Isaiah 13:12 – I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
When in trouble, remember that faith tried in the furnace of affliction is more precious than gold tried with fire. Remember that there is One watching every movement, to see when the last particle of dross is taken away from our character. Christ work must be accomplished in us. We must be changed and purified through the love of affliction. We are running out of time. The stage has been set for the end times work to be accomplished before Christ comes and we have to see to it that we are standing today and not wavering, or we are proving that we will wavier in the end. Now is the day to fight harder and not draw back from the battle. Stand up and endure.
We have but a little space of time left in which to work for God and the lost souls before the Mark of the Beast is enforced. Time is running out and the doors to eternal life are soon to close, where all cases have been decided. Nothing should be too dear to sacrifice for the salvation of the scattered and torn flock of Jesus that we are to labor for and help to the utmost. Truly, those who make a covenant with God by sacrifice now, they will soon be gathered home to share a rich reward and possess the new kingdom forever and ever because they allowed the bitter cup to serve its purpose; they are before God without spot or wrinkle.
Ephesians 5:27 – That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.