Job 23:10-14 (NIV)
10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
He does whatever he pleases.
14 He carries out his decree against me,
and many such plans he still has in store.
Imagine going to a nice restaurant for dinner. The table is set with linens, fine china, and crystal glasses. The waiter delivers your plate with a flourish of gusto. In the middle of that exquisite plate is a single marshmallow. What a letdown! Instead of receiving a nutritious, meaty meal, you are left with a puff of sugar and no satisfaction.
If we become lax, our lives can resemble that disappointing meal. Instead of being believers with a weighty message full of hope, we can find ourselves with nothing to offer but a bit of fluffy sweetness. God’s message is meant to nourish and sustain; our family, our friends, and even we ourselves cannot be satisfied by meager provisions. Our Father wants us to have such an impact on those around us that people will never be the same after knowing us.
If God is building a valuable message into our lives, we must receive everything that comes our way as being from Him. When a bad event passes through God’s will to affect us, He will bring good from it. We know this from this verse found in Romans:
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Truthfully, a person can share a message of hope more effectively if he or she has first suffered. When we are hurting, we seek comfort from people who have faced similar hurt. Likewise, others will trust our comfort if we have known similar pain. Tough times can destroy is as a person or, if we choose to learn and grow from it, can bring us to a whole new level. Choose to be the latter.
Whatever the circumstances, we should be evaluating what God is doing in us. Like a gem polisher, He will work off our rough edges by running us up against tough experiences and people. When we look for His purposes and lessons, we are hastening the time when our life message reflects the hope that is available in Jesus Christ.