Transformation Garden - April 28, 2016

April 28

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“Cast your burden on the Lord, releasing the weight of it, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved or made to slip and fall or to fail.”

Psalm 55:22
Amplified Bible

Our Burden Bearer

“The little sharp vexations
And the briars that catch and fret,
Why not take all to the Helper
Who has never failed us yet?

Tell Him about the heartache,
And tell Him the longings, too;
Tell Him the baffled purpose
When we scarce know what to do.

Then, leaving all our weakness
With the One divinely strong,
Forget that we bore the burden,
And carry away the song.”

Phillips Brooks

Today’s Study Text:

1.) “But He knows the way that I take. He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold, pure and luminous.”

Job 23:10
Amplified Bible

2.) “For You, O God, have proved us; You have tried us as silver is tried, refined, and purified.”

Psalm 66:10
Amplified Bible

3.) “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God will receive the victor’s crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.”

James 1:12
Amplified Bible
The Message Bible


“Furnace of Affliction” – Part 25           

“The Victor’s Crown of Life”

“While God is for us, and we keep in His love, we may with a holy boldness defy all the powers of darkness. Let Satan do his worst, he is chained; let the world do its worst, it is conquered: principalities and powers are spoiled and disarmed, and triumphed over, in the cross of Christ. Who the dares fight against us, while God Himself is fighting for us?”

Matthew Henry

What thoughts come to my mind when I hear the words “victor’s crown of life”?

What lessons have I learned at those times in my life when I’ve found myself within the “furnace of affliction”?

“But if the path we tread be rough and lowly, it is that in which our great Exemplar has gone before. Going down into the valley of humiliation we walk in His footsteps.”

John Dawson


“God wants us to be victors, not victims; to grow, not grovel; to soar, not sink; to overcome, not to be overwhelmed.”

William Arthur Ward

Many years ago, my dad took my sister and me to the Hayden, Arizona copper smelter. It wasn’t far from my grandparent’s canyon ranch and my dad thought it would be interesting for us to visit this facility with its 1,001 foot tall chimney – which happens to be the tallest free-standing structure in Arizona.

I’ll never forget the tour we were on for one simple reason – it was so hot inside the building. I recall my sister and I were thrilled when the tour concluded because we were two sweat balls! Our clothes were literally wet. It may seem that I’m exaggerating. But when you consider that in order for a base metal to be produced from its ore, temperatures as high as 1250 degrees C. may be required. You can understand why I used the word “hot”.  I don’t want to mislead you, it wasn’t over 1,000 degrees in the places where we were standing. However, as we passed by some of the areas where “reduction” was taking place, which I might add is the final step in smelting, you could just feel heat radiating from the furnace. As I’ve gone back in time, reflecting on what the Bible tells us about the “furnace of affliction, I’m reminded that just as the end result of “smelting” is the production of a pure form of a metal, so it is with God’s heavenly “smelting” of your life and mine. Just as most ores are impure and extraction must take place to produce the base metal; so in your life and mine, the adverse situations we face; those times of affliction we walk through; and the suffering we endure, act to reduce us to a point where we have only one “home base” to go to – and this is to Jesus. As author David Kingdon underscores, “only in the furnace of affliction do we as Christians let go of the dross to which, in our foolishness, we ardently cling.”

How often in my own life I’ve found that as long as I am able to say to myself, “I know how to take care of this problem” my trust in God is less than it should be. But when, because some trial comes along which knocks me off my feet and leaves me feeling helpless, only then is it that I am driven into the arms of my heavenly Rescuer – my Refuge and my Strength. Over the last few years, I’ve learned in my own spiritual life that God has longed for me to press into Him, to rely on Him as never before. Why? Because if I rely on my own props, I’ll never understand how strong my God is and how capable He is of taking care of me – totally! It makes all the difference in the world, when we finally have proof that our Father not only wants the best for us but He wants the best in us.

When the Apostle Paul was writing to the Christians in Rome, he asked the question, “What can separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8) I think for each of us who have experienced those times in our lives when it appears that the challenges outweigh the blessings that we can take away from our suffering the reality that the victor’s crown is given to those who endure to the end for as E. H. Chapin so thoughtfully pointes out, “the brightest crowns that are worn in heaven have been tried, and smelted, and polished, and glorified, through the furnace of tribulation.” Praise God for the furnace that draws you and me into the never-failing embrace of our Father.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us…He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8: 18, 32, 35, 37-39


Lament Psalm Forty-two

“O God, I am struggling
to survive,
preoccupied with dismal
that will not
let me go.

My blood pressure climbs,
and I have aches
and pains
that have no cause except

my broken heart.

Why have You turned
your back on me,

O God?

Why won’t You protect me
against my emotions?

I have nowhere to turn
if not to

I have nowhere to go
if not to Your

I have no one to talk to
if You won’t

Break Your silence
and speak
to me.

Open Your door
so I can
get in.

Turn Your face to me
and pay attention
to my problems!

Trouble surrounds me
like a fence
with no

I need eyes in the back
of my head
so I can see
what’s coming next.

I’m worn down from trying
to deal
with one hell after another.
the pain in my mind
leaves no room
for rest.

O God, return me
to a life of

Give me a reason

Can eyes weep
the time?                                            

Can hearts race
and day?

Can minds agitate

Can my soul survive
this assault?

O God, please
stop this revolving door
of emotional oppression!
stop the outpouring
of unrelenting

O God, on the wings of dawn
You come to my house,
bringing peace
in the palm of Your hand.
You open my eyes;
You stand in
my doorway
and invite me
to Your house.
O God,
You are my peace!”

Ann Weems

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world.  100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.

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