[CF Devotionals] 2013-01-03 - Rebuilding

2 Cor 4:17 For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], (AMP)

Have you ever had a cold come at a bad time? Have you ever been betrayed by someone you trusted? Have you ever been forgotten in something that was very important to you?

Let's start at the easy end of the spectrum. I have learned that a cold is not a bad thing. It took a long time for it to soak into my head but I've noted something. When I am quite literally forced to stop moving God is trying to get my attention. Even if He is only insisting that I rest from the race that is my life, He has something for me or He is keeping me from something. There is time to gather myself and think about recent events, etc. and hear whatever it is the Lord has been trying to tell me. This week I have heard three times from three disconnected sources to drop the things in my life that are not beneficial. It has caused me to pause and consider.

We have all suffered difficulties and troubles of varying degrees. Some are disappointing and some are devastating. And still the Paul tells is in Romans that all things work together for  those love God and are called to His purpose. There are times I will readily admit it is difficult to see how something so hard can be for our benefit. Paul rattles off his own list of trials - shipwrecked, imprisoned, stoned and left for dead, and more. His coworker in the Lord, Demas, left Paul in jail to return to the world. How bitterly sad it must have been to see Demas walk away. Paul had invested in the man and Demas was turning his back on his faith. For all we know Demas would come back to God after a time and serve the Lord wherever he was. If so what trials reshaped and rebuild Demas during his days in the wilderness?

Through the variety of what might be called negative events in our lives pieces of our hearts are being rebuilt and the focus of our lives is being redirected. There are times when God must empty us in part or entirely to pour back in the things we will need to serve His purpose. We may be relocated to serve in a new place. There are some events that are so painful it may take years to see the benefit if we do see it at all in this lifetime. I have had dear friends die or leave me. I can not say the profit to me is evident in full or in all cases. As time wears away the pain some of the good work on my behalf is being unearthed and seen at least in part.

Paul said all things are working together for our good - not some, not most. For those things we can not understand, some that are literally to painful for words to describe, we must trust. There is no other option. We may be angry or sad, or wounded and the Father understands all of that too even if we are angry with Him. If the Lord says we have purpose and He is in control of all things then our trials have purpose too.

In all of this and more we are assured that God is working on us, loves us more than we can know and is preparing a place for us when all of this is over and our service moves to Heaven. In the mean time He is sculpting us one chisel stroke at a time. Selah.

Lord, open our eyes to see and provide the willingness to trust when things don't make sense to us. May we learn that You are right beside us and working out Your good purpose within us. Amen.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com