Monday, January 6, 2020

Beauty from the Pain - Martin Wiles

Series: The Truth about Trials

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2 NLT
Trials may do a great many things, but there’s one thing they can’t do.
A blacksmith once gave his heart to God. After his conversion, trouble, affliction, and loss hounded him. One day, a friend, who was an unbeliever, stopped by to talk. The friend, attempting to be sympathetic, said, “It seems strange that so much affliction should pass over you just at the time when you have become a Christian.”
The blacksmith had thought the same. Finally, he said “You see here the raw iron which I have to make into horse’s shoes. You know what I do with it? I take a piece and heat it in the fire until it is red, almost white with heat. Then I hammer it unmercifully to shape it as I know it should be shaped. Then I plunge it into a pail of cold water to temper it. Then I heat it again and hammer it some more. And this I do until it is finished. Sometimes, I find a piece of iron that won’t stand up under this treatment. The heat and the hammering and the cold water are too much for it.”
Pointing to a heap of scrap iron near the door, he said, “When I get a piece that cannot take the shape and temper, I throw it on the scrap heap. It will never be good for anything. I know God has been holding me in the fires of affliction, and I have felt His hammer upon me.”
As odd as it may seem, trials can give us joy. An even greater oddity is that they can never separate us from God (Romans 8:35). No matter how intense the heat of the trouble, God remains present with us as we journey through the trials of life. His love penetrates our soul so deeply that nothing can remove His presence. His Spirit abides in us powerfully and permanently.
And like the blacksmith, when we trust God in the trials, He will transform them and us (Genesis 50:20). Joseph, like Job, experienced one difficulty after another. His brothers meant him harm, even death, but he was able to see how God had used their evil to bring good. God will do the same for us.
Draw close to God in your trial. He will make something beautiful of you.
Prayer: Father, in our trials, draw us closer to You. Give us the strength to let You hammer our situation into something beautiful.

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