“I have made you a tester of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways.” (Jeremiah 6:27)
Years ago when I was doing metal work I was taught about “work hardening.” Work hardening happens to steel when you bend it, put a crease in it, or hammer on it. The steel becomes stronger in those places where pressure has been applied.
On the other hand, if you take a piece of steel and leave it untreated, have it lying around receiving no special treatment at all, the steel will rust, grow weak, and eventually you could make a hole through it with your finger.
I do not believe every challenge and difficulty in life is a “God ordained” event to test our strength and character. I cannot accept that a child with a muscular disease in a wheelchair is somehow being tested by God. We live in a world of sickness and disease and some things come from just living in this broken world. Not everything is meant to be a religious test.
Nevertheless, I do believe God gives us the ability to face the challenges that come our way and find a way through them by His power. Such challenges can make us tougher, stronger, wiser, and more experienced as we move through the difficult paths of life. God can give us a measure of grace that refines and strengthens us when trials of various kinds enter our lives.
It is not pleasant to be stuck between the hammer and the anvil. Getting pounded by life can be a trying experience. Yet I believe we can become tougher, rather than bitter and brittle from the hardships in our life, not because of who we are, but because of who He is inside of us. We are not in these struggles alone, and Jesus can give us a strength we could never have imaged before facing the trial.
Ask the Lord to make you stronger, to make you tough as His Spirit empowers you from within.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we are hammered by many events in life, sometimes we feel too weak to cope, but we ask You for a strength that makes us strong through all of life’s challenges. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. God has given him strength in times of weakness and trial.
Have you been pounded by the trials of life? Have you found strength through surviving your challenges?
This song is about being “Strong Enough” by Matthew West. If you are wondering why God has given you more than you think you can handle today, I hope this song touches you. (It is going on my playlist!) It is not about using our own strength to be strong, but about knowing when to ask for help. -Lisa