“A sculptor does not use a ‘manicure set’ to reduce the crude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful. To do His supreme work of grace within you, God will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be!” (A.W.Tozer)
I love this Tozer quote which is used in the opening monologue of the movie the Heart Of Texas”. Today’s thought is not about this movie, but I would highly reccomend seeing it; to see a promo, click hear.
Now, back to the message for this post…
How do you respond when your husband or wife, friends or family trample your emotions? When your child rebels? When you lose a big deal or important client? When your boss fires you unexpectedly? In this very difficult economy, you may have lost thousands in savings or in the value of your 401K or other investments? When disappointments like these smash into your life, you may want to scream, “How could God allow this to happen?”
But, what if God didn’t just “let it happen?” What if the things you treasure the most and hold on to the tightest are damaged or destroyed? What if what you call disappointments are really God’s appointments? What if like a skilled sculptor, He is using your disappointments like the sculptor’s hammer and chisel to chop and carve away the undesirable elements in your life, leaving you pure and radiant…His beautiful masterpiece?
Life’s disappointments can destroy you, or you can become stronger because of them. The dangerous spiral of disappointments can lead to discouragement, disillusionment, depression or even despair. But you can learn to break that cycle and embrace the disappointment and trails with a faith that recognizes that they are the hammer and chisel God uses to make you a reflection of Him. We can follow the selfish course of our natural reactions and be subtly trapped in a downward spiral that swiftly leads into depression and discouragement. Or, we can take those trials and count them all joy, knowing that our faith and endurance will be strengthened. Our disappointments are the stone that God will use to sculpt us as a sculptor would his rough stone. If we respond by taking the steps of trust, obedience and relying on His grace , we will discover that we are being sculpted into His masterpiece that reflects the radiance of His image and character. Knowing this, today as you face those trials or are in the pit of despair, what will be your decision? To continue on that road of despair, or make the turn and trust Him and His grace?
I offer these scriptures to encourage you:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”(James 1:2-4)
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”(Romans 8:28-29)
Tags: Be Happy, Depression, Despair, Discouragement, Disillusionment, Failure, Faithfulness, Fear, Freedom, Get out of the pit, Happiness, Happy Family, Happy Home, Happy Life, Happy Marriage, Happy Relationship, Hope, Living a Happy Life, Obedience, Overcoming Discouragement, Pain, Pressure at Work, Success, Victorious Life