…count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
When you pause to
drool over appreciate a diamond in a jewelry store, do you ever imagine the hunk of coal it once was? Most of us understand the high price tag associated with a diamond on display, but we don’t often consider the unglamorous process it took to achieve that worth.
Diamonds start out as lumps of carbon deep in the earth. After a long period of time and a massive amount of pressure has been applied to it, this crumbling lump of carbon becomes something called a rough diamond. Rough diamonds are then cut and polished by a diamond cutter before it becomes the elegant (and expensive) diamond we see glittering in jewelry stores. It takes a long time and a lot of work before a diamond’s best features are revealed.
Life throws curveballs at us every now and then. All of us, in one way or another, are probably going through problems in our lives today. God knew these difficulties would put the squeeze on us much the same way incredible pressure is put on the chunk of carbon. Eventually a transformation takes place, and something magnificent emerges.
God’s Word constantly reminds us that seasons of suffering are a normal part of Christian life. Suffering is a tool that God uses to shape our character and transform our lives. The Bible repeatedly reminds us that God is extremely interested in the kind of people we are. He will sometimes allow us to go through pain and heartache in order to purify us. We have to remind ourselves that we have an opportunity to be molded into a more perfect version of ourselves if we’re willing to allow God to produce that perfection in us by making us depend on Him completely through these trials.
One thing we can be confident of no matter what. When we go through storms in this life, we have a God who will walk along right beside us.
“Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful? Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness. Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
Do you feel like an imperfect Christian? Like you’re a weak, sooty, stressed-out, pathetic lump of carbon who just isn’t very good at living the Christian life? When submitted to God, the pressures of life can strengthen and purify us, changing us from worthless lumps of coal into precious spiritual diamonds.
Remember that you are a work in progress. Like any good diamond cutter, God uses His hammer and chisel to slowly and carefully shape us into a thing of beauty. And He has promised not to leave His work undone.
Troubles will come, but they only increase your value.