These are trying times, with people out of work and unsure of their future. Concerns regarding what is taking place or what is about to happen are rampant; we are continually being barraged by bad news every night. Along with the job situation and the financial crisis in this country, we now are dealing with the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States—the BP oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, Christianity is being attacked and maligned on every side, while Islam is being protected and praised.

You may be one of many who are out of work. Possibly your home is in jeopardy of being foreclosed. Maybe you are dealing with problems with your mate, your family, or one of your kids.

Problems such as these are not new to the children of God. They seem to be a natural part of life. That said, you may ask, “What can I do?  How do I cope? Is there a reasonable explanation for the dilemma that I am facing?”

God has given us promises which we may lean upon in these times of distress and heartache.

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to andfor those who love God and are called according to [His] designand purpose. For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. Rom. 8:28-29 AMPH

You are not alone in the trial you are facing. God is in the processof bringing you to a higher position. We are being conformed to the image of His Son. In many respects, His process, at times, is a painful process. I’m sure Joseph, David, or Daniel did not enjoy the conforming process but they persevered. They triumphed through their development, and you and I enjoy reading their victorious stories even yet today.

God’s process reminds me of what a silversmith or goldsmith might do to a plane piece of precious metal. With repetitive un-relenting blows of the hammer the master craftsman fashions a beautiful utensil, piece of jewelry, or work of art. Though the plane piece of metal may have had value, once the master craftsman is finished with the process of shaping the piece, the value is multiplied many times over with the finished product. Depending on the item, the finished product may be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars more than the original piece of metal.

Think about it. You may feel worthless and that the un-relenting hammer blows are too much to bear … but God has a plan. His plan is to conform you and me to His Son’s image. Oh what value God places on us that we should be called the sons and daughters of God. You are and will be victorious through this clear and present danger.

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