Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Crucible of Tough Stuff

When life is light and free with everything going your way, it is easy to say "praise the Lord." With a smile and a nod, you let folks know that in all things God works for good. (Romans 8:28) A cheerful song comes naturally. Faith seems simple and God close.

It is quite another thing when all is not well. When the doctor's prognosis is not good, the job outlook bleak, relationships are strained, dreams and goals aren't realized, and discouragement creeps you trust in the Lord with all your heart leaning not on your own understanding? (Proverbs 3:5)

When it's hard to get through the day and keep a positive outlook, it can be tempting to question whether God even cares about you. The storms of life strip away the trappings and fluff down to the core of who we are and what we believe. It is the crucible of tough stuff that reveals if faith is real or fair weathered.

People like Job, Ruth, David, Daniel, and especially Jesus knew quite a bit about troubled times, hope deferred, and unfair circumstances but each remained faithful to God. Even when it wasn't convenient, they sought righteousness.

James says, "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12) Hold onto God, wrestle with Him in prayer, and earnestly seek Him. When the trial is through and you come out on the other end, with a grateful heart, receive His blessings.

In pursuit of His best,


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