When we initially surrendered to God and began the journey with Him, many of us believed that all of the world’s successes and possessions were ours to attain. We believed we were going to live on easy street. Everything thereafter that we touched was going to turn to gold. And why not? God is on our side. But reality soon appeared. Somewhere in time we come to the realization that life is a series of problems that need to be resolved. Every day brings new difficulties, challenges, and yes, opportunities. And one needs to learn how to handle them wisely, with patience, or they will come back to haunt us for the rest of our earthly life.
In our early walk with God we hopefully learned that not all opportunities of material gain are blessings from Him. Many times they are only tests to measure our faithfulness, values, priorities, and character. We recall one instance where a friend had the opportunity to purchase a business. He prayed, counseled, fasted and searched for the “right” answer. Finally, based on the physical events in his life it looked like the answer was to go for it. He did. Three years later showed him that physically it was a dumb thing to do. But spiritually, it taught him many valuable lessons of life that are with him to this day. One such lesson is that from physical difficulties come spiritual masterpieces.
Physically he lost everything. But spiritually, God was creating a masterpiece. It was through this ordeal that he discovered joy in tribulation. He discovered patience in overcoming obstacles. He discovered peace in confrontation. And most importantly, he discovered love at the bottom of the pits. In other words, he discovered all of life’s greatest values while he was being kicked, abused, defeated, and ostracized. Human pride was being displaced with humility. Selfishness was being revealed. Arrogance was being chopped down in size. Vanity was being deflated. The Holy Spirit was attaining His objectives while he was busy pursuing other things that he thought was more important. The spiritual project being created in us is His work. And it seems that He does His best work while we are going through the rough times of our lives.
Yes, we know that being a disciple of His places us on a road least traveled. It may be a road without all the physical comforts that we in America are accustomed with living. But the process has its rewards. Likewise, the end result has a reward. To other eyes, the road may be rough. But as disciples, the road is that one, spiritual Olympic journey for the gold. The process may look tough, but the reward now and for eternity is worth the challenge.
Our Great, Creator Dad, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your masterpiece under construction. And a special thank you for caring and loving us even when our attitude and feelings are against you. Forgive us.
Help us to always trust you, especially when the circumstances and times are difficult. Help us to focus our attention and desire in you. Lead us to your heavenly calling and help us to understand our part in your creation. We pray for the strength, courage. and conviction to glorify you in all our undertakings.
No matter what the outcome, no matter what the events, no matter what the circumstances, let our heart, mind, and soul always praise you and trust you for the end result. Help us to focus our eyes towards you and not our surroundings. Take care of us as you do in mercy, compassion, and goodness. Help us likewise treat others as you treat us. Thank you, Jesus.