Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, For you are with Me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 

Believers in Jesus are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), that is our character needs to be refined by the fiery trials that the Lord brings to us. Notice I said that the Lord brings to us. Never think it is by accident that you are going through a trial. Listen to the word of God.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trials which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.”

Look at Psalm 23:4, the Lord brings us right through the valley of the shadow of death, not around. The purpose of trials is to bring death to our old fallen nature, also known as the flesh, which is at enmity against the Lordship of Jesus. Our fallen nature acts separate from God, and essential wants to be its own “god.” Think of times when people belittle you, our fallen nature responses by quickly trying defend itself or it wants to lie to protect oneself from potential consequences.  Jesus told people that wanted to be His disciples that they needed to bear their own cross daily, which meant that need to die daily to their fleshly desires and will. By nature, we are a self-dedicated people, which is always focused on ourselves first. When we enter the School of the Holy Spirit, we will find out that our focus is shifted from self to Jesus. Discipleship is about being saved from the power of self.

2 Corinthians 4:11 “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

The Lord brings us into trials that it is only by His power by the Holy Spirit that allows for us to get the victory. In order to impart the life of Jesus into our hearts, there first needs to be death to our flesh. Since we have some level of pride still steeped into our hearts, our response is to try to overcome these trials in our own ability and strength. This is the way of the world, that we try to overcome independent of God’s help by our own strength. The flesh loves to boasts in itself, thus the trial needs to be overcome in the strength of self. The trials are meant to sift us like wheat and bring us to a place of humility of heart, which causes us to become dependent on the Lord.

 Matthew 21:44 “Whoever falls on this stone will be broken.”

The stone in this verse is taking about Jesus. The Lord wants to break us of our own strength, wisdom, will, power, etc. He wants to cause us to lose confidence in ourselves, and look to Him for the victory. However, our flesh is very persistent and hates to give up on self-effort.

2 Corinthians 1:9 “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.”

Jesus wants to bring us to a place of nothingness, where we can honestly say, “Without the grace of God I can do nothing” (John 15:5). The Apostle Paul came to that conclusion, where he understood that he was living each day by the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

I highlighted these words, because we are not even living by our own faith, but the faith that is given to us by Jesus. Spending quality time with the Lord is key. As we keep our eyes and heart focused on Him throughout the day, He will impart to our spirit power, wisdom, faith, love, etc. by the Holy Spirit.

 

The He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man"

Ephesians 3:16