God will eventually test you in all areas of your life, but He will not let your trials become greater than you can bear. Let God use trails to help you grow. Do not try to measure your progress, your strength, or what God is doing. His work is not less efficient because what He is doing is invisible. God does not transform you on a bed of light, life and grace. His transformation is done on the cross in darkness, poverty and death. Francis Fenelon in 100 days in the secret place
I think what strikes me most about this is the call to NOT BE DISCOURAGED that rings behind the words.
Growing as a Christian can sometimes be hard. We think we should be “past” this, and are surprised we still react with anger/fear/insecurity/envy/pride etc.
We can struggle against the work of God to refine us and make as us pure gold.
Proverbs 17:3 The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, but God tries the hearts.
The work of God in our hearts is in secret. He uses all types of situations good and bad to shape us. He uses all types of people to give us life experiences that will form the character of His Son Jesus within our hearts. He roots out our secret desires (sins…) and plants good things instead. He forms new habits and new characteristics that resemble Jesus.
This all takes time.
We have a lifetime ahead of us.
Most of us (ME) want it done NOW… we want to be perfect NOW… but experience and life lessons take time to LIVE and learn… I love how Romans 5 in my bible says the word EXPERIENCE instead of perseverance or endurance. Life is lived in experience. If you breathe you are experiencing. If you are experiencing you are been shaped by God.
Romans 5:3-4 And not only this, but we glory in afflictions also, knowing that afflictions work out patience, and patience works out experience, and experience works out hope.
We can have hope that God “knows what he is doing”. He knows us inside and out, how many hairs we have on our head and how many hairs we have on our toes. We can rest completely in the security that even though we face hard times and are refined in the FIRE that God is with us and working in our lives. Hard times are NOT in vain, they have a purpose. Good times are not in vain, they have a purpose.
A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.
Trust God in good times and hard times, and pray and let Him have His way. Surrender and let him work his beauty through your life. Ask Him to shape and mould. Do not be discouraged. God is changing you! He is the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty. His love is everlasting and his mercy stretches our sins from the east to the west, just as the arms of His perfect Son stretched on the cross for our salvation.
Do not be discouraged. Take courage in the knowledge that God is a good God, all the time He is good.