25 Days Down! 15 Days to Go!
Today’s chapter talks about trials and problems from God’s perspective. Let’s just say God looks at our trouble differently than we do by nature.
Even Jesus Had Problems
Yes Jesus is God and Jesus is Lord but Jesus was also beaten, tortured, betrayed and more. Many times when I think about the “things” I go through/am going through I think about the above because no matter how bad it is and relative to what Jesus went I may be going through the hardest thing I have ever experienced but at the end of the day, no one is whipping me or hammering nails into my flesh. So I need to acknowledge my feelings (this is important and prevents relapses) but then get working on moving forward and learning what I need to learn from the trouble situation. Rev. Warren shares:
Since God intends to make you like Jesus, he will take you through the same experiences Jesus went through. That includes loneliness, temptation, stress, criticism, rejection, and many other problems. The Bible says Jesus, “learned obedience through suffering” and “was made perfect through suffering [Hebrews 5:8-9].”
I say all this to say that, sharing what the chapter talks about, God uses trouble to mold us but the pressure and pain are part of a larger plan…
“Character building is a slow process”
In this chapter a quick story about a silversmith is shared:
A silversmith was asked, “How do you know when the silver is pure?” He replied, “When I see my reflection in it.” When you’ve been refined by trials, people can see Jesus’ reflection in you. James said, “Under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors [James 1:3 MSG].”
The main idea from this section of the chapter is that stumbling blocks and troubles are situations that build your character and at the end of the process you come out as silver with God being able to see His image in you like a silversmith sees himself in the pure silver he has cultivated through the fire. Its also similar to the process of mining diamonds. When you first see a diamond, its covered with rock and dirt but when a diamond miner chips away at the rock using various tools depending on how hard the rock and dirt are there is a shinny precious diamond at the core. This is just like us! We are diamonds but we have to let God chip away the rock and dirt around us and in most cases large portions of that rock and dirt are troubles that God will attack/chip away at, by allowing us to go through trouble, to build our character so that we become like the Christ-like diamond core inside of us.
To anyone who is going through or dealing with problems, I’m talking to myself here too :), remember this quick line from the chapter, “Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever [Emphasis mine].”
Now I gave a great introduction to some of the things discussed in this chapter but I encourage you to get your copy of The Purpose Driven Life because this chapter also shares how you can respond to trouble that comes your way like Jesus.
The Question to Consider for today is, “What problem in my life has caused the greatest growth in me?”
Working on my PhD. I have been pretty blessed to avoid any serious stirring problems, minus a broken heart or two, for most of my life. Great parents, great college experience and even great experiences post college until I started my PhD. Well I guess my roommate problem was the start of this shift of a “good track record.” Anyway, as hard and challenging as this situation was and has been it has also caused the greatest growth in my spiritually bringing new meaning to the idea, “To everything there is a season…a time for every purpose under heaven.”
Have a blessed day!