God is Our Refiner: As He shapes Us on the Support-Raising Journey

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV)

Most who live in the Western world have never had to face an actual fiery furnace or even death for our beliefs. How amazing it would’ve been to be Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they walked out of that furnace unscathed as a living testimony of the power of God? On the other side of the trial, it’s easy to look back to see God’s amazing plan and His goodness. Facing a trial and walking through it is a whole different story.

Trials are a testing of our faith as they serve to refine us. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s faith was put into action, and they were willing to face the furnace for their beliefs. Their faith was already strong before it was tested, but I think we can be certain that, when they came out, their trust in God was even greater than before. What better way to understand the heart of God than to walk in faith through the refining process, not to mention the testimony of God’s greatness to others.

No matter how strong our faith, our entire life is a continual process of being transformed into the likeness of Christ. Raising support is certainly not a fiery furnace—although it may feel like it sometimes! However, it is a faith journey where we have to put our trust in God into action. It is a path that is laid out before many, but only a few choose to obey God into the unknown. Money may not be an idol sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, but many bow down to its power.

Just the actual step onto the support-raising journey can be a refining process of our faith. We may not know where the money is going to come from, but we trust God and watch Him work. For others, the support-raising journey is just the first step into the fiery refining process. However, just as the words from Daniel 3:18 says, “But even if he does not (deliver us), we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” These three men knew that God was in control either way. They were going to discover God in deeper ways regardless of the outcome, so they obeyed and stayed firm through the trial. The result was their testimony gave God the ultimate glory.

All our journeys are different as God uses various situations to refine us. Stand firm through the refining process that the support-raising may bring. On the other side of the trial, after experiencing God at work, rejoice in the amazing testimony that gives Him the glory.

  1. Think of the testimonies of God’s greatness you’ve already experienced on this journey and give Him the praise.
  2. Pray for God to keep you strong through the refining process.

God is Our Healer: The Story of Glory on Our Support-Raising Journey

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’ John 9:1-3 (NIV)

The Pharisees were focused on the wrong thing. They saw a blind man through their own eyes, and with this human perspective, they clung to a false narrative. It was one that spoke of pity for lack of sight and blame for the punishment of being born blind. Their own sight was clouded and kept them in ignorance to seeing a greater picture. For you see, the world needed healing from their blindness, and God chose a blind man to be an instrument for His glory. What irony!

This picture of healing is not necessarily hard for me to understand on the surface, but actually a little uncomfortable when I have to put it into practice. On the surface I say, “Praise God for His miraculous healing!” While putting it into practice, I say, “Poor blind man, he grew up without sight. Think of all the things he missed seeing for all those years. Why did God have to do that?” The truth is, God often has us walk hard paths in order for His glory to be revealed.

The world doesn’t understand the support-raising journey. Sure, we give to charities, we help people out for the betterment of living, and some people even tithe to churches—sadly, the world often uses giving to make them feel better about themselves. But when it comes to people asking them for money to do ministry, it is increasingly becoming a foreign concept.

The support-raising journey is not a punishment from God because we couldn’t get a better job or even a sad burden for us to bear. Sure, it’s a hard path to have to walk, and we can take a woe-is-me attitude; however, the world is blind to missions and the work God is doing right among us. Have you ever thought of it as an instrument to display God’s glory?

  1. What false narrative are you walking on the support-raising journey?
  2. What ways can you display God’s glory on the support-raising journey?