I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering. Isaiah 48:10 (NLT)
Whatever It Takes
Whatever it takes. What do you mean by saying, “Whatever it takes?” I want to come to know and love and follow and serve you. I want to become like you. I want to think like you think. I want to speak like you speak. I want to act like you act. I want your thoughts and words and actions to be mine. I want to give like you gave. I want to serve like you served. I want to love like you loved. With that in mind, I will freely admit that I am quite distant from those desires becoming a reality in my life. How so? I have rough spots, imperfections, and impurities in my life that hinder me from becoming like you. So, I am giving you permission to rub off the rough spots or burn off the imperfections and impurities in my life. I want you to mold and shape me to make me to be more like you. That is what I mean by saying, “Whatever it takes?” I see. I know.
Let me be clear here, I am not the author of pain and suffering and loss. I will not shower you with hardships. I will not bring evil against you. You live in a sin broken world. You live in a world that comes full of pain and suffering, hardship, and loss. These were not unfamiliar to me. They will not be unfamiliar to you. I suffered. You will suffer. Having said that, you are correct in your thinking, I can and will use the heat of pain and suffering and hardship and loss to burn off impurities and imperfections in your life. I will rub off the rough spots in your life. I will mold and shape you according to my purposes and plans. Why would I do this? I love you with an everlasting love. You are my child. So, you can be sure that I can and will bring good out of the bad that happens in your life. I can and will redeem and use even the darkest of your days. Your attitude is good and that is very important. Why is that? You and I have both seen people that have grown bitter and not better as they have gone through pain and suffering and hardship and loss in life. Instead of drawing nearer to me in these moments, they have withdrawn from me. Instead of relying on me in these moments, they have turned away from me to rely on themselves. Instead of their relationship growing deeper and more intimate with me in these moments, they have separated themselves from me entirely. You will not let this be true of you. You will allow me to do my work in you, for you, and through you when go through great difficulties in life. Why is that? Because you will allow me to use whatever it takes to do my best work in you. Yes, I will, whatever it takes. That is very good.
Lord, use whatever it takes to refine my character. May it be pain or suffering or hardship or loss, use whatever it takes to make me to be more like you. Use whatever it takes to grow my faith and deepen my relationship with you. All my hope and trust is in you. Amen
Key Question… How has the Lord made you more like Him as you have gone through hardship and suffering?
Living It Out… Allow the Lord to use hardship and suffering to refine your character to make you more like Him.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that the Lord can use hardship and suffering to make you more like Him.
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how the Lord has used suffering to make you more like Him.
Prayer To Bless Others… May you allow the Lord to use hardship and suffering to make you more like Him.
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