If you live in Dallas or parts nearby, the latter part of Spring has been extremely hot. Summer is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. Some believe that we’re entering into a severe drought. I’m praying that God will be merciful and deliver us from anything like that.
We live in an older home and when we purchased it 30 years ago, we soon found out that there was limited to no insulation in the ceilings of a portion of the upstairs. Every July and August we think about repairing it, but we never have. We just use extra fans and turn up the thermostat. But now, with the advent of what looks like an excruciatingly hot summer, we have called the insulation people. We’ll see.
Nine months out of the year it never is a problem. But this level of heat exposes the weakness in our house construction. Same with our lives. Extreme pressure of any nature tends to expose our weaknesses, especially as it relates to our faith walk. It can be a momentary issue that brings out our anger, or a long period of suffering, testing our patience.
It’s interesting that God uses these temporary or long-term circumstances to refine us and make us more useful for his kingdom. It is the process of sanctification. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8.28). What it’s saying is that God works all things together for our good because we are his children and he loves us.
And God knows our limits and will not give us anything beyond what we can handle. Look at this promise. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10.13). Don’t you love the ‘but God’ statements in the Bible. It has been said that every trial comes wrapped in sufficient grace. If only we believed that. Paul learned that firsthand when he asked God to take away the thorn in his flesh. What he heard was, my grace is sufficient, Paul.
Paul embraced that and so should we. We only have to look at the early church where God allowed persecution to come against them in Jerusalem from several sources. God was not punishing his church, he was mobilizing them to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. What might your trial, temptation or persecution be right now? Could it be that God is using these things to refine, sanctify and use you mightily? I have found we rarely grow in the good times.
I’ll finish with this. I find one thing to be my most difficult action in my walk with the Lord. In fact, it’s an inaction. Waiting!! Waiting for God to do his work in and through me. I love these two verses. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psa. 27.13,14) So, be still, wait!! Great things will come from it. After 30 years, I’m hoping for an insulation solution!