Groaning and Growing

Saturday, Nov. 29

“To be effective for God, we need to be crushed.”–Doug Burch. That statement conjures up a number of things. How effective for God am I? What do I need to do to be what God wants me to be? How badly to I want it? Am I willing to pay the price? What does it mean to be crushed? Why do I need to be crushed? Am I willing to be crushed? Since wise decisions require sufficient knowledge, let’s start there. What is meant by being crushed and why is it important? I think Doug’s thoughts were along the lines of getting “self” out of the way and having our minds set on God. It’s part of the sanctification process and a necessity if we are to carry out God’s work. It could probably be characterized as humility. How the crushing takes place is a bit nebulous, too. God will allow problems and trials to test us. So think of the current problems you face, and accept the fact that God is grooming you for greater service. We don’t often think of trials as God’s method of refining us, but if we do, it not only is comforting; it also pleases God. Ideally, we would rejoice in trials. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). So “pure joy” should replace groaning, but even if we groan, the process is still fitting us for greater service. Hang on to that truth; God will finish what He started—in you and in me.

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