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Trials

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“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,  Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: So he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:1-6)

How many times have we said, “Use me, Lord!” or “I’ll do whatever You ask!” and “Whatever it takes for my will to break, that’s what I’ll be willing to do!”  Yet when the trials and opposition come, and things get tougher, we begin to struggle and fight against it praying for it to end.

God is trying to form and shape us into the vessel HE wants us to be. When we fight against the storms, whose will are we really seeking?  God’s will? Or our own?  He knows what’s best for us and will not put on us more than we can bear (although sometimes we feel it is). When we come through these trials, we’ll be refined like silver and tried like gold.

Trials will either make you…bitter or better.   You can either become…a victim or a victor.

Through trials you gain:

  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Endurance
  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Compassion
  •  Love
  •  Faith

God has each of us on the potter’s wheel, but sometimes we resist the way He’s forming us.  He’s trying to shape us one way, but we’re pulling in another. If we have our way, we will be deformed. But, if we let God have His way, we’ll be transformed into a vessel of honor…something we both will be proud of.

It hurts!  Oh, how it hurts at times…but stay yielded to the Potter’s will!

“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;” II Peter 1:6

“Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can; seldom found in woman, and never found in man.” This little verse may be funny, but not completely true. My husband was one of the most patient persons that I have ever known and helped to keep me on track.

Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Most of us struggle with this attribute. We all want to possess patience, but we want it without having to work at it. As someone has said, “Lord, I want patience and I want it now.”

Years ago, I had a friend who told us she had prayed for patience, but she didn’t realize that the Lord was going to send her Grandpa – her husband’s father who needed a lot of care. And so, we are advised not to pray for patience, because we probably will have a lot of things come along to test us. Tribulation worketh patience.

I read this quote from Joyce Meyer: “You don’t know what kind of fruit you have until somebody comes along and squeezes it. You don’t know how much fruit you have until somebody is picking it all day.”

Our patience will be tried in so many ways, by our children, by people we work with, by sickness, by financial problems, etc. But as we learn to trust in Jesus, He helps us to rise above the fretting and worrying, and just let His peace fill our souls.

Prayer: Thank you Jesus that you are always there for us when trials and troubles come, and you will give us peace as we leave them all in your hands.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. (2 Chronicles 20:17, NIV)

Sometimes we are afraid when the Lord asks us to head out into the battles that we have to face. We will not always have to fight. Some battles can be fought if we just stand firm, listen to what God is telling us and trust that He would never make us go into a battle that we could not overcome.

Prayer: Thank you for your protection when we are in the midst of our trials. I also thank you today for the confidence that we can have in You when faced with life’s setbacks. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Devotion by Melinda Keays