Spiritual mountain top experiences are wonderful. I love them. However, we must be careful and not make them our goal or preoccupation.
As I was recently reading the autobiography of a friend, he spoke about how he had lived on the mountain peaks all of his life as a Christian leader, and he rejoiced in those experiences, but then he went through an unbelievably difficult period for years.
He was devastated. His friends deserted him. His life was destroyed. His ministry was in chaos. But in the midst of all the tragedy, there came into his life a supernatural peace. He began to know the joy of the Lord and the fulfillment of His promises in a new dimension.
As he now looks back over those devastating years of heartache, sorrow and humiliation, he now understands how it is in the valleys. That is where one finds the fruit trees and the grain and the flowers. The mountain peaks are usually barren because plant life does not grow freely at extremely elevated heights.
My friend began in his own experience to recognize the fallacy of seeking emotional experiences and spiritual highs, but would rejoice in whatever came his way, knowing that allowing us to experience trials is often God's way of drawing us closer to His great loving heart so that He can demonstrate His faithfulness.
There is nothing wrong with positive emotions. God created us as emotional beings. However, we cannot live by our senses alone. On a higher plane, God created us to be faith people. "We live by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV).
"There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. Our reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:6-9, NLT).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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