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When you find yourself in the direct path of a searing fire of life, it is of vital importance to recognize who God is and glorify Him as such! If you refuse to recognize the character and goodness of God when the temperature of life is uncomfortably high, you will find yourself in a most dangerous, destructive place in life.

Knowing God, declaring God and worshiping God while in the furnace of great affliction is what will transform your life into a trophy of pure gold living. Fortunately, God is perfectly good and that is great news for you!

God, who is the greatest good of all of eternity, desires His absolute best for all of your life — every day and every moment. He longs for His goodness to seep into the crevices in each day of your ordinary but miraculous existence.

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." — A. W. Tozer

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Even knowing that God is eternally good and that He holds the final authority on every event that is allowed to touch our lives, we still wonder why evil is such a relentless component of life on earth. It is hard to wrap finite, human minds around the juxtaposition of God's goodness, man's sinful nature and the enemy's evil schemes.

The devil has never taken kindly to men and women of faith, and what he is actually attacking is your faith in its purest form. The devil doesn't care about your temporary existence but what he wants to devour is your faith so that you are unable to walk in the power and authority that you were created to walk in.

The devil intends to steal your joy, which is what enables you to be the strongest version of yourself. The devil has diabolical plans to devour your peace so that you will be unable to trust the Lord. To the enemy, you are simply an unknown, unnamed end to a means. The devil's chief goal in your life is to diminish the glory of God that is inside of you.

In every century, during every epoch, the enemy has endeavored to intimidate the people of God. Ask Daniel what those hungry lions sounded like! Ask David about the colossal size of Goliath! Ask Moses about the loneliness in the wilderness! Ask Jonah what the inside of a fish smells like! Ask Paul about the turbulence that occurred just before a violent shipwreck! Ask Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego about the searing temperatures of the fiery furnace! I have discovered that it is possible to pass through any fire in life guided by the principles found in the Word of God; you will be able to encounter the hottest flames that life has to offer and still not even smell like smoke.

Every hero and heroine of the faith who has met the enemy in the back alley of torturous circumstances will respond with determined truth and with power: "God was with me! He never left me alone! His joy surrounded me like a shield and I found His presence to be more than enough!"

The Word of the Lord will always lead you away from a place of pain and blame, and ultimately lead you toward a place of trust and belief in the God of Creation. The Word of God will challenge your doubts and will boldly lead you into agreement with God's opinion.

Make the determined choice that the next time you don't know what to do, you will worship rather than panic. Make a willful decision that if you find yourself surrounded by the fires of tragedy, you will read the Word of God rather than choose to worry.

Continue to use the wisdom of God when your life is falling apart because God's goodness is always found in wisdom. If you are in a financial hotspot, do not stop tithing or paying your bills. If you are dealing with health issues, obey the orders of your doctor. And in addition to those wise choices, continue to worship and read the Word of God! God's goodness is on its way straight toward your life.

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Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

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