Trial by Fire

May07 016Adversity; trials and tribulations; obstacles, challenges and setbacks; things and tests that change us; things purifying us and causing us to become better

Great faith must have great trials. Charles Spurgeon

Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great. Pliny the Younger

We can decide to let our trials crush us, or we can convert them to new forces of good.  Helen Adams Keller

  Many of us have learned we did not know what our capabilities were until we were willing to experience failure to achieve success, pain in order to have victory, and setbacks to go forward. A well known adage proclaims “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. We are not likely to develop our gifts and talents if we never allow ourselves to be tested by fire, the ups and downs of life and events that may cause us pain and heartache.

     Incalculable resources have been wasted throughout the ages by the many lives that never came close to achieving their potential. Enormous waste continues today as a result of the millions or billions of lives that only embrace the challenges of life at the lowest levels. Considering this enormous waste in human potential; let us consider two categories. There are those who are born into or for some other reason barely exist in deplorable and horrendous circumstances. Their plights may be understandable and forgivable. These individuals employ everything they have, in many cases, just to survive one more day. Many are dying at the hands of starvation and genocide. Then there is the rest of us. What is our excuse or reasoning for less than our best?

     Too many of us live on the low side of our potential. We have capabilities and potential going wasted and poorly used. Some of us know this; others seem to be clueless and unaware. We are too fearful, timid, wimpy, complacent, cowardly or “fill in the blank” with the right word. We are afraid of pain, failure, embarrassment, disappointment or “fill in the blank” with the word that applies. We must come to grips with our own circumstances, what holds us back, our fears, whatever it is and determine to do more to reach our potential. We must be willing to risk trial by fire. It will purify, temper and harden us. We must be willing to face some risk and pain to grow into our potential. There are many who have shown us how to do this: America’s early settlers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa and others to name only a very few.

      Many have learned without experiencing some pain there is little or no gain. It takes a willingness to risk and suffer potential painful consequences in order for us to be refined, purified and to become better than we were.

Challenge:You have become the person you are by the experiences that shaped and formed you. The more you have been tested, stretched, exposed to new things, everything that has happened, good and bad, have produced what defines the present version of you. It is a part of life’s process to grow you by exposing you to things that test you. You have more unused talents, capability and potential waiting inside. Do not be afraid to grow.

Wisdom: Times of great calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm. Charles Caleb Colton   

Spiritual: (NIV)

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

We often forget that we are made of the “stuff” that comes from God. The Bible tells us we have some of his spirit within us as a part of our basic make up. We are equipped with great capabilities and possibilities that many have developed into great advances and achievements. The typical human being lives their life using a small portion of their possibilities. It is part of God purpose to help us to develop into what he designed us to be.

Prayer: Help me to become that which you intended me to be. Show me the way and guide me there.

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