Acts 14:22 – “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
To conform us to the image of His dear Son, our Heavenly Father often subjects us to “much tribulation.” Someone has aptly penned these words, “There are unsculptured figures in the quarries of life which only the blasts of ‘misfortune’ and the chisels of ‘adversity’ can carve into beauty!”
To this agree the words of the poet: “When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part – when he yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man that all the world shall be amazed – watch his methods, watch his ways! How he ruthlessly perfects whom He royally elects! How He hammers him and hurts him and with mighty blows converts him into trial shapes of clay which only God understands.”
Dr. A. T. Pierson told of watching a blacksmith working at his trade. With a small hammer the blacksmith touched the white-hot iron on the anvil and nodded to his helper to hit as hard as he could with a heavy sledge. The minister asked, “Why do you first dent it with such tiny taps?” “Oh, I’m just showing him where to hit!” was the reply. Dr. Pierson thought for a moment and then said, “I think we can draw a parable from your actions. Often God puts His finger on the weak points in His servant’s life or work, and then permits the devil to bring down the sledge-hammer blows of affliction to forge him into a stronger man and a better Christian. Thus, he makes the devil sweat for the saints’ benefit!”
As a believer, are you enduring many trials? Rejoice that God has honored you to suffer for His sake, for great will be your reward in Heaven!