When God goes to work to answer some of your prayers, sometimes the first one to stop him is not the Devil, but it is you.
And so is when God answers a saint through the tool of suffering. When the furnace is getting hot and the saint is to be sanctified, we run back on our prayers. “No, God, not this way!” Like a reluctant toddler in the shower, some of us walk into the furnace but do not accept the heat and the scrub and demand God of deliverance to get them out at that instant.
There are times when you are delivered from the furnace instantly, there are also times when the furnace becomes your sanctification. When deliverance does not come easily, acceptance is the last train to catch from the furnace of the reality station to the uncertainty of the future stations.
Acceptance is where you begin to build a bridge from your past disbelief to the reality of your present and to the uncertainty of the future. Acceptance is building the bridge, taking one step forward and walking back 4 steps on it, it is destroying the bridge again because of disbelief and once again building with your shaky hands. Acceptance is the longest period that spans between the Worship and Re-building at your Ground Zero (Remember the acronym WAR at Ground Zero?)
In the book of Job, the Ground Zero experience is seen in Ch.1, and the chapter ends with Job worshipping God at his Ground Zero. His worship is followed by his wife provoking him and many back and forth dialogues between his miserable friends and Job. Job lamented, cursed the day of his birth, questioned God, and gave many speeches between ch 2 and ch.39. This was his period of ‘trying to make sense’ of the pain and this was his period of acceptance. Though Job worshipped God in Chapter 1, he also went through many dark moments afterward. Sometimes pouring, other times roaring and a few times just abhorring his life. Walking back and forth and destroying the peace you build is a common theme in the acceptance phase.
Acceptance is also waiting under trials. Trials don’t come because of what you have done but because of who God wants you to be. The Psalmist talks about waiting with hope in God.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation. Psalms 62:1
Dear ones, it is not easy to make sense of the furnace or to wait in the heat. God is answering some of your prayers in the furnace. He is refining and building and making you ready to receive the blessing you desire or the person who you always wanted to be.
Andrew Murray says:
“All the difficulties that are brought forward as keeping us back from full salvation have their cause in this one thing— the defective knowledge and practice of waiting upon God. But when once a beleiver begins to see it, and consent to it that he by the Holy Spirit must each moment receive what God each moment works, waiting on God becomes his brightest hope and joy.”