Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Shaped by Difficulties

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Listening to some Christ followers, you’d think that there should never be any difficulties in life. The way they tell it, you expect that God will ALWAYS…

Bless us
Protect us
Put us at ease
Dote on us as His children.

It reminds me of a line in the 1971 “Love Musical” by Ottis Skilling, “Some think of God like a vending machine; pop in a coin and He makes a scene.” But God desires something greater for us, much greater — Tribulation!

I saw a poster once that captured my attention. It pictured a crusty ol’ cowboy on a cattle drive, dirty and dusty, with rivulets of sweat running down his face. He was rugged looking, yet he looked weary after a long day on the trail. Squinting past you, the caption revealed his thoughts:

“There were a lot of things they didn’t tell me when I hired on with this outfit!”

That cowboy might as well have been any of the disciples, or you and me for that matter. 

The Christian life is not without hardship. Peter wrote, “Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” [1 Peter 4:12].

God shapes us through difficulties. Real growth can come no other way. More than our comfort, God wants our Christlikeness. Our brief life on earth is the only time when we can glorify God in the midst of struggle. 

Let’s join the likes of Peter and, as long as God will grant us life, to struggle well.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

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