In Revelation 2:9, John tells the Church, "I know thy works, thy tribulation, and poverty." The Lord does test and try his people. Psalm 66:10 says, "Thou has tried us, as silver is tried." Psalm 11:5 says, "The Lord trieth the righteous." Everyone who follows Jesus is going to face afflictions. Psalm 34:19 says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous." 2 Corinthians 2:4 says, "Much affliction and anguish of heart with many tears" and Hebrews 11:37 and 10:32 describes saints who are "destitute, afflicted, and tormented" and "enduring a great fight of afflictions." Think about your own present ordeal or trial. Have you had doubt, fear, or anger as you endured it? Have you accused God of putting too much on you, or of placing you in your trial needlessly?

Have you been on the verge of giving up, thinking, "I've been faithful in prayer, in reading the Bible, and in going to church, but nothing is working."?

Or can you still look to heaven and say, "I know the Lord is good, and I'm going to trust him through this. I won't live in doubt."?

God's purpose behind our trials is not always a test. The truth is, not all of our trials are tests of faith. Sometimes the Lord is after something more when we're in the furnace of affliction. Indeed, the closer you walk with Christ, and the deeper your trials, the more he is working in you to accomplish something other than faith. Whenever our faith wavers, tests of faith will come. We will never be completely beyond such testing.

The Father is preparing a bride for his son, and he wants more from us in our trials than greater faith. This bride is going to be tried severely, and the love for the bridegroom will come through the fire. Her trust in him will be refined through fires, floods, and afflictions. These trials aren't a matter of testing her love and devotion, they're about refining a love that is already fully committed. His preparation of the bride requires that he do a supernatural work in you. Jesus' chosen bride must be consumed with a longing to be with her bridegroom. She has to be weaned from all other attractions. Everything you see is going to pass away as we know it, including the earth, moon, sun, and stars.

God is making these things anew (restoring new) where there are no fires, floods, devils, trials, or afflictions. Therefore, focus your eyes on Christ, and set your affections on spending eternity with him in the restored world. The enduring trials right now aren't testing, but training. We're being prepared (trained) for a world where there will be no pain, having a brand new body, one with the DNA of Christ himself.

I see multitudes of believing Christians who love overcoming faith, but have no longing to be with Jesus. Instead, they've set their eyes on the things of the world and how to obtain them. Such people don't want to hear about focusing on heaven or being weaned from the world. Such a message means an interruption from the "good life" they enjoy here.

When it comes to sufferings, trials, and affliction, most Christians don't abandon their faith, but they stop pursuing Jesus with their whole hearts, thinking, "I can't live under this kind of intensity. It seems the closer I get to Christ, the more I suffer (Selah). Isaiah 48:10 says, "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."

Church, wake up. You are not undone, as you think. The Lord is still your strength. So get up out of the dust of discouragement and sit down in the heavenly realm I have promised you. Shake yourself off and tell the flesh and the devil, "I am more than a conqueror through him who saved me." -- Isaiah 52:1-3, paraphrased).

It truly is time to shake off the heavy bands and lift up holy hands in praise to your redeemer. Amen! You are free, no matter what your trial, so be glad and rejoice, knowing that the fourth man is still in the fire with you.

Christ will reveal himself in your trial and the fire is going to burn off all the cords that bind you.

"Most likely you are not being tested but trained."

* Some notes adapted from the writings of David Wilkerson.

Ken Christian
Cafes for Christ
Romans 8:28

Dry Spells: Experiences common to every follower of Jesus. Going through spiritual let downs that follow a mountaintop experience of blessing or victory.

Watch out after a great victory. The enemy is always there to try to bring you down. He's trying not only to steal your blessing, but also to "cripple your faith in the Lord."

Elijah: Amazing life of faith. On Mount Carmel, he called down fire to consume his sacrifice, along with twelve  barrels of water. He wiped out four hundred priests of Baal. He prayed down rain to end a drought that he started. He outran King Ahab's chariot over many miles. He was walking on an elevated spiritual plane; and in that very hour of blessing and revelation, he plunged deep into despair. He ended up running from God in fear. Sound familiar?

King David: God told him that He was going to establish the kingdom as everlasting (2 Samuel 7:16), referring to David's seed or lineage, and of the Messiah to come. After this revelation, David went from one mountaintop experience to another, victory upon victory, blessing upon blessing, with an awesome annointing. Then a dry spell, in which David cried out, "My soul is cast down, my bones ache, all joy is departed. Oh God, where are you?"

Daniel: He set his heart to seek God by faithfully interceding, fasting, and studying the Scriptures. He received incredible visions from God. What followed was persecution, in which he was jailed and cast into the lion's den (Daniel 10:8). He testified that he was so overwhelmed that "there remained no strength in me."

Apostle Paul: Call to the third heavenly realm, where he witnessed unspeakable glories. As he came out of that heavenly realm, he faced "a messenger of Satan" who buffeted him, so that he received one trial after another.

Last but not least, Jesus: After coming out of the waters of baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove, after which He was led straight into the desert. Talk about a dry spell, that's about as dry as it gets. Christ went directly from revelation to temptation, from an experience of closeness with His Father to a literal dry place. (His Great Love - Austin Sparks)

In order to go on to further stages of truth, to further revelation, something has to happen to us. We will go through new experiences of death, desolation, emptiness, and hopelessess, in order to come into something further and deeper in "divine revelation." Amen. This will enlarge your vision; for without vision, we perish.

Have you experienced dry spells like these? These dry spells in your spirit are experienced mostly by those whom God intends to use. Everyone He trains, he uses these experiences to bring them deeper and further in His ways. When we get serious with God, our prayers will begin to manifest (1 Peter 4:12-13). Rejoice, as we are partakers of Christ's sufferings.

My prayer for all of us is that we really seek God; the Holy Spririt will help us understand why God allows these low, dry times. I do believe that God is after something in our lives during these periods. The real truth, the whole truth; if you are on dry ground now, you are on your way to greater miracles, visions, revelations! God insists that there must be "dry ground" on our way to the Red Sea (Exodus 14:16).

In Isaiah 41:17-20, God is telling us (the remnant), "Soon you will see a harvest. Where there once was dry ground, life will spring up at your feet, and I have created it! Stand still and see what I will do for you on dry ground."

Thanks much to Pastor Wilkerson for his faithfulness, and his closeness to the Lord, that bring forth these revelations from God for these last days that we live in.

God bless America and the real church, that which hears what the spirit is saying in these last moments.