Through The Ringer

                                   By

                              Phil Scovell





                          Copyright (C) 1997/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



          Reproduction of the following is granted by the copyright holder,
          Phil Scovell, if such reproduction is done in the spirit in which
          it was given.   It may not  be reproduced and sold  for financial
          gain without  written permission  of the  copyright holder:  Phil
          Scovell.  Electronic  formats may be distributed  freely but this
          copyright notice must  remain with each copy and  the text cannot
          be  altered  in  any  way.    For  convenience,  this   copyright
          notification  may  be  placed  at  the end  of  the  document  if
          reproduced electronically.


          CONTACT INFORMATION

          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Toll Free:  888-936-0001
          Voice:  303-936-2188
          Fax:  303-936-1841
          Email:  Phil@RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG





                           THROUGH THE RINGER


                                   By

                              Phil Scovell




               Although I was  born in 1952, I can  still remember watching
          Mom  squeezing  newly  washed clothes  through  the  hand cranked
          ringer.     They  pealed from  the  rollers flattened,  squashed,
          almost  unrecognizable, and then hung out to  dry.  Not much ever
          survived the  ringer  except  the clothes.    Hence  the  cliche:
          "Through the ringer."

               Nearly  everyone   has  faced   impossible  situations   and
          confessed:  "I've really been through  the ringer."  We mean,  of
          course,  we  have  been pressed,  squeezed,  pounded,  flattened,
          hammered, mashed,  pressed, steam  rolled,  dumped on,  squashed,
          buried,  or pulverized  by  something which  has demanded  a high
          price to endure.   Sometimes, if negotiated successfully,  we may
          brag of  our accomplishments, but generally  we weep.    Often we
          fumble for  an explanation to  save face, dodge questions,  or to
          soothe  emotions.   When  all  else fails,  we  plug  in the  old
          standby:

               And we know  that all things work together  for good to
               them  that  love  God,  to  them  who  are  the  called
               according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

               This is perhaps  the most misunderstood, certainly  the most
          misinterpreted, verse in all the  Bible.  Anything and everything
          can be  easily, and  conveniently dumped into  the black  hole of
          Romans 8:28 and  never seen or heard  from again.  Since  God has
          failed to answer prayer, change circumstances, or honor His Word,
          the quoting of it saves  face.  Such failure can be  devastating,
          even destructive,   especially to the Christian who  claims to be
          walking  in the  Spirit.   We, of all  people, must  have answers
          because  we are  led of  the Holy Spirit.   What if  there simply
          isn't any answer?

               I  know  a  pastor  who  had  recently  taken  over  a  self
          supporting church that had a number of past problems.  For months
          the pastor, along with the remaining leadership, had to deal with
          a multiplicity of difficulties.  People began to leave because of
          both  the  new  and old  pastors.    Relocation became  necessary
          because  the membership was dwindling and  the landlord wanted to
          raise the rent.  Personal problems began to make themselves known
          in people's own lives.  A strong stand was taken on the authority
          of God's  eternal Word  which, of course,  divided some  and drew
          others.  Demonic forces were released against  the church through
          a  member  involved in  the  occult  and  rebellion began  to  be
          manifested in segments of the Body.   Finally, the pastor decided
          to terminate his ministry and release the church.

               For  their  final  Sunday together,  the  pastor  spoke from
          Romans 8:28  and  explained how  "all  things work  together  for
          good."  This promise, he said, is  not for just any Christian but
          rather for those walking in  the Spirit through prayer, according
          to the two prier verses, (Romans 8:26-27).  Additionally, "and we
          know  that all  things work  together"  targets those  Christians
          faithful   in  harmonizing  their   prayers  with  that   of  the
          Holy Spirit as he "makes intercession for the saints according to
          the  will of  God."   If we  are careful to  examine Romans  8 in
          context, we discover that "There is now therefore no condemnation
          to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but
          after the Spirit.   Thus, those walking in the  Spirit and taking
          up  partnership with the intercessory prayers of the Holy Spirit,
          will  not experience  condemnation  but  will  "know,"  see  with
          spiritual vision,  that "all  things"  can, and  will be,  worked
          together by  God for  their benefit.   This includes,  of course,
          things good or bad, right or wrong, holy or unholy.   This pastor
          was not suggesting, however, that God authors the bad - see James
          1:12-17  - but  will  instead incorporate  "all  things" for  the
          benefit of  His own  people.  In  another words,  what the  Devil
          means for evil, God will mean for good.  Do not be concerned with
          how flat, how pulverized, how squeezed you may be.  Wait upon the
          Lord  through the  intercessory ministry  of  the Holy Spirit  in
          prayer, and as you  are hung out to dry, remember  the promise of
          Romans 8:28.

               This particular pastor is totally blind with three children,
          all who see  normally, and has been married  for seventeen years.
          His wife  is also totally blind.  He  now has no personal income,
          feels  a sense  of defeat  and  rejection, deep  concern for  his
          family,  an awareness  of  loss and  personal  failure, and  even
          wonders if he will  ever be used by the Lord again.  Yet he knows
          that Romans 8:28 is applicable to those who walk by faith and are
          submitted to the Heavenly Father  who promises to work all things
          together for  their  benefit.   How do  I know  he, this  pastor,
          believes this?  I am that pastor.

               Although  my wife  and  I  have wept  buckets  of tears  and
          struggled  with   turbulent  emotions,   we   "know,"  see   with
          supernatural vision, that  God has a plan.  The pain is real, the
          guilt is real,  and the fear is real  and so is God.   If you are
          suffering as we  are at this very moment,  be refreshed by taking
          up partnership  with the Holy Spirit in prayer.  Cry the tears of
          failure,  experience the  crushing  devastation of  the  unknown,
          endure the bone splintering  pain of rejection, but  believe God.
          He will  never leave or forsake you.   If you will thus submit to
          the promise, and resultant power,  of Romans 8:28, the Devil will
          confess, as you are  put through the ringer, "He  looks more like
          Jesus now than before!"


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