Molding and Shaping
The Lord shapes our lives in new ways at different periods through a vast range of experiences. The best plan is to look at whatever He’s given you to do at this time and determine that it’s not a mistake, it’s not a punishment, it’s not a hardship to just be endured. According to your attitude, it can be a positive experience, an opportunity that you can turn into something that will benefit you and those around you. It’s a chance to gain qualities, strength, convictions, and vision that you couldn’t gain in the same way elsewhere.
Life doesn’t get better by getting easier. It gets better by being lived to the full. To do that, you have to seek to experience joy in each event that enters your life and strive to gain from every situation you find yourself in, no matter what it may look like to you. If you take it like that, and seek God to help you find the treasures in what might look like a bit of a dunghill at the moment, you’ll discover something far greater than you had thought possible.
Dear God, help my unbelief. When I’m in pain, I forget that You care about me. I forget that You have helped me through my trials. I forget that You hold me in Your arms to keep me safe. I forget that You are feeling my pain with me. I forget that You love me. I forget that I am important to You. Show me Your presence, let me feel Your enveloping love. Heal my hurting soul. Thank You for staying with me even in my unbelief.
So do not fear the struggle; rather, embrace it. Embrace it in the knowledge that the Grand Weaver will take all of your struggles, questions, disappointments, and fears and use them to build your faith and increasingly make you into a man or woman who looks like Jesus Christ.
I know He’s there with you! He’s there in the darkness. He’s there in the trial. He’s there in the test. He’s there in the confusion. He’s there in the depths. He’s there because He loves you, because you are very dear to Him.
No matter what, trust Him! Cry out to Him! You are undergoing the making, the breaking, the molding, and the shaping of your life, and every man or woman of God goes through it.
—David Brandt Berg
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as the potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”
—Jeremiah 18:1–6 NIV
God doesn’t make mistakes
In 1502, in Florence, Italy, there was a large block of marble given to a church in Santa Maria. The church immediately hired who they thought was a professional to sculpt this enormously huge piece of rock. Soon after commencing this great task the man drilled a hole right at the bottom, destroying this magnificent piece of marble. So the church decided just to drape a huge sheet over it, not knowing what else to do, since it had been damaged beyond recognition and repair. A certain man named Michelangelo caught word of this large stone and how it had been destroyed, so out of curiosity he went to check it out and thought, “Hey, I think I can do something here.” After a time he began work and sculpted; and what was once thought to be a lost cause became one of the greatest statues of the biblical character of David ever built.
Many people today feel like a gigantic slab of marble—perhaps battered and bruised, perhaps lacking substance, perhaps someone who has been discarded by certain people. But, in the capable hands of the Lord God Almighty, we can be molded into something beautiful.
God, the Master Potter, has a way of taking the leftovers and making them something beautiful.
He is the potter; we are the clay. He is the shepherd; we are the sheep. He is the master; we are the servants. No matter how educated we are, no matter how much power and influence we may think we possess, no matter how long we have walked with Him, no matter how significant we may imagine ourselves to be in His plans, none of that qualifies us to grasp why He does what He does when He does it and how He chooses to do it. God’s will is way beyond our understanding, yet it is a way in which we are called to think and live.
God knows what He’s doing for all of us. He is the potter and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
One of the most difficult parts of the Christian life is the fact that becoming a disciple of Christ does not make us immune to life’s trials and tribulations. … The Bible clearly teaches that God loves those who are His children, and He “works all things together for good” for us. (Romans 8:28) So that must mean that the trials and tribulations He allows in our lives are part of the working together of all things for good. Therefore, for the believer, all trials and tribulations must have a divine purpose.
As in all things, God’s ultimate purpose for us is to grow more and more into the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29) This is the goal of the Christian, and everything in life, including the trials and tribulations, is designed to enable us to reach that goal. It is part of the process of sanctification, being set apart for God’s purposes and fitted to live for His glory. The way trials accomplish this is explained in 1 Peter 1:6–7: “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The true believer’s faith will be made sure by the trials we experience so that we can rest in the knowledge that it is real and will last forever.
Trials develop godly character, and that enables us to “rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3–5)
Copyright © The Family International. All Rights Reserved.