February 3

None of us likes to have difficulties in our lives.  We all want “smooth-sailing” through our lives.  None of us wants to hear that we might be laid off from our job, or that the doctor wants a follow-up visit.  We want to hear that is it going to be sunny and 65 degrees (the perfect temp) every day of our lives!  We all want to see an “A” on the top of our test page.  We don’t ever want to have problems.  Many of us, when a problem arises, ask God to quickly remove whatever it is that is challenging us.

That is not the plan that God has for us.  He knows what is best, and He will give us exactly what we need.  Many times, exactly what we need, is not the smooth road, but the bumpy road that has troubles, and challenges along the way.  We don’t necessarily like this road, but it is on this road that some of the greatest lessons of life are waiting.  James wrote, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3).  James was writing to a group of believers who had been scattered all over because of persecution.  They were new believers, who probably thought that once they trusted Christ, all their problems would evaporate (like many Christians today).

James told these believers, and us today, that the plan that God has for His children is to produce godliness in them.  That process involves some difficulties.  Pure gold is produced with a refining process that involves high heat and a burning off of the dross.  Faith in a Christians life is no produced from sitting on the lounge chair with your feet propped up, drinking iced tea.  James realized that true faith is best seen when under the pressures that life brings.  Even though we would like smooth roads in front of us at all times, God knows that the bumps in the road reveal real faith.

Imagine a clay pitcher, turned upside down over a candle.  There would be no light coming through the pitcher.  Now, imagine that the pitcher had fallen on the floor and broken into many pieces.  Someone then took the pitcher and glued it back together, the best they could.  Now if you placed that pitcher over the candle, you would most certainly see streams of light coming through the cracks that had been glued together on the pitcher. In much the same way, God allows difficulties to come in our lives, because He knows that His glory will shine forth from us better after He has delivered us from the things we are facing.  Today, make it a point not to complain about the things that happen that don’t exactly fit the plan you had for the day.  God is working in our lives, and He will do what is best for us. That plan involves cracks that He can shine through!  Don’t fight Him!

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