Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Sept. 30, 2008

September 30, 2008
Purified as Gold
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5 NIV).

Friend to Friend
When bad things happen in our lives, we tend to ask why.  There are many purposes for the pain in our past. Our understanding of God’s character is broadened, our faith is strengthened, our character is matured, our souls are purified, our vision is clarified, our passions are enflamed, and our hearts are softened.  Of course with each of those positive qualities, a negative one could occur.  For example, our understanding of God could be skewed, our character compromised, our souls sullied, our vision clouded, our passions extinguished, our hearts hardened.  Just as the sun hardens clay and softens wax, we have the choice.  We can’t change our past, but we can determine the effect it will have on our future to make us bitter or better.

I think of all that Job went through: all but one of his servants were murdered, fire from the sky burned up his sheep, the Chaldeans stole his camels, and a mighty wind blew down a house where all his children were feasting…killing them all…and that happened all in one day! 

What did Job do after such losses?  He tore his clothes and shaved his head as a sign of mourning.  That I can understand.  But then in the next verse we learn…”Then he fell to the ground in worship…”

All through the book of Job, we read of more tragedy that befell this one single man.  Did he question God?  Yes.  Did he curse God as his wife suggested?  No.  In the end, after God had spoken to Job, he replied, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5).  The story of Job is a difficult journey, but what He learned about God was worth the trip!  God made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before…The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.”

Henry F. Lyte writes a poem that I have grown to love.  I pray it blesses you as much as it blesses me.

When God wants to drill a man
and thrill a man
and skill a man,
to play the noblest part.
When He yearns with all His heart
to create so bold a man
that the entire world will be amazed.
Watch His methods,
watch His ways.
How He ruthlessly perfects
whom He royally elects.
How He hammers him
and hurts him
with mighty blows converts him
into trial shapes of clay
which only God understands.
How He bends but never breaks
those whose good He undertakes.
How He uses what He chooses
and with every purpose fuses him,
to act and by every act induces him
to try His splendor out.
God knows what he’s about.

Let’s Pray
Dear Heavenly Father, 
Thank You for the trials in my life that have drawn me closer to You.  Thank You for the purifying process of fire that brings the dross of my soul to the surface to be skimmed away.  Help me to see the trials of my life through Your eyes.  Thank You for the hard times that have made me who I am today.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn
Did you have trouble with today’s prayer?  Can you thank God for the hard times?  Oh friend, that prayer did not come easy for me. Today, write your own prayer to God, but rather than blanketing your difficulties with the word “trials,” list them specifically.  Thank God for what He did to mature you through specific struggles in your life.

More From the Girlfriends
Trials.  We don’t like it when we are in the middle of them, but some things can only be learned on God-ordained field trips. If you would like to learn more about how God can use your pain for purpose, your hurt for hope and your miseries for ministries, you’ll want to see Sharon’s book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding peace and purpose in the hurts of your past. It will help you discover the hidden treasure in the midst of your trials.

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