Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send My messenger and he shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of His coming ? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.

Malachi 3:3 And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

Shortly after my husband Gary died in 2002, I had to go back to the cemetery and purchase a headstone for his gravesite. I really did not want to go. The Lord helped me through the funeral with so much strength and I knew Gary was with Jesus, but I could not think of him in the ground. His gravesite was right beyond where I had to park, But I could not look there.

I went in and made the arrangements for the headstone. When I left, I had to look in the direction of his grave to drive the car. The sun was setting and glistening so strong that I could not look there anyway. I read Charles Hadden Spurgeon’s Daily Devotional everyday and this is what I read the next morning.

“Seest thou that little river of death glistening in the sunlight, and across it dost thou mark the pleasant country and all its joyous inhabitants?”

My mother and Gary were there. My spiritual daughter Cheryl’s Mom and Dad are there. And now my daughter Melanie is there next to her Dad. It is not a sad place but pleasant and joyous. They are happy. They are not dead but in a pleasant country.

The Lord is so good. I was in the fire and it hurt. He made a very painful time beautiful and gave me His peace about my loved ones that only He could do. He was also preparing me for the loss of my daughter. I have had to learn to live without them for awhile, because that is the Lord’s will for me. He fills the void with Himself. Plus He gave me Cheryl to love as my own. It was as if He said, I’ll take care of Melanie and you take care of Cheryl. Melanie went into a coma on Cheryl’s birthday and died 8 days later of complications with diabetes.

I learned so much during those hard years. I learned how fear can get a hold in your life and you not know it. Fear was in control until she died. Now I can see how fear works in others and I can pray for them.

Cheryl was sexually and verbally abused in her childhood and was needing love and I was needing someone to love. She is still with me and is so good to me. We have had many good Bible studies together. She was healed of cancer and an aneurism. The Lord takes one and heals another. He has a plan and I do not question it. He has changed me in so many ways because of the fire I have been through. Chains and bondages fell off as I was being purified.

I used to be critical and bitter and was praying for compassion. I am not the same person just as I believe Peter and the other disciples were not the same at Pentecost. They went through the fire after losing Jesus. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego went into the fiery furnace bound up and came out loosed from them, walking in the fire with Jesus.

We are all in need of the impurities being removed so we can offer up to the Lord the offering of His righteousness that He so graciously gives. My life is so good now. I would not change a single thing that I have endured. His blessings far outweigh the hard times. We just have to hang on to Him and not let go.

Romans 5:3 Moreover — let us be full of joy now! Let us exalt and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. Amp.

Romans 5:4 And endurance, fortitude develops maturity of character — that is approved faith and tried integrity. And character of this sort produces the habit of joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Amp.

I still have to work on being joyful when trials come, but I do not misinterpret what is going on, but realize it is for my good. What is important to me is to be able to stand when times get really hard. So I must put my life completely in the Lord’s very capable hands because only He is able to help me to stand.

WORLD OVERCOMER by PHIL DRISCOLL

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