But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen,settle you.
I Peter 5:10
As you read the above scripture, does it bother you? Does it make you question suffering or do you realize the purpose? It is clearly stated: to make you perfect, stablish, strengthen and settle you.
God desires your perfection in your walk of faith: your trust in his promises, in HIS WORD: in the work he desires to do in you, with you and for you. We are made perfect...by him, not of our own selves. It is his power working with in us as we yield to his will.
As the potter with the clay. He molds and works with the clay until it is becomes that desired vessel. A clay pot must have strength in order to be used. I'm reminded of a tea pot I just read about recently. The Brown Betty, it is made of a special clay and over years...the method of making has modified to what is called slip casting which gives the pot and even thickness and smooth finish inside and out and it's usefulness is making the "perfect" pot of tea. It became a "staple" of life for the British. Tea time was no longer just for high society but for every commoner.
I love this illustration as it proves once again in God's creation..his perfection. This clay for the Brown Betty is an earthen clay founded in 1695 in Stoke-on-Trent.
I happen to own one of these simple brown English teapots. I had no idea until recently it's great value. It was given to me as a gift by my husband...during this time living in Switzerland.
God is not the author of confusion and he surely has given me an understanding of his great care. I shouldn't be, but am amazed at times how things like this little teapot unknown to me then, purchased during that time...is so significant to my story this night.
"Thank you, Lord"
This reminds me also of a story I once read about the Refiners Silver.
A group of women in a Bible study group came across the verse in:
Malachi 3:3 "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver:
The verse puzzled the women and one of the women wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
She decided to seek out a Silversmith to find an answer. She made an appointment with a refiner and did not tell him why she was coming to observe his work other than her curiosity in the process of refining silver.
As she watched the Silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot...then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.
She asked the Silversmith if it was true that he Had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined? The man answered, yes. He not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment.
Then she asked, "How do you know...when the silver is fully refined?"
He smiled and answered...... "When I can see my own image reflected back to me."
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
II Corinthians 3:18
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
II Corinthians 4:16-18
As you struggle through each day...think upon God's work in your life.
Is he trying to get your attention? Is there something in your life that is an impurity that needs to be refined? Or perhaps...he just wants you to shine brighter so that he can see his image in you.
Ponder this verse..
Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Oh the wonders of God's blessed WORD and his work in the hearts of man.
If ever a time in my life was the heat felt...also was his loving kindness.
Though others may not have known the work being done in my heart...I knew...God knew...and it continues to this day.