This week we had the unpleasant surprise of two house repairs that required calling in three different professional services.  My wife and I prayed together about these issues and then asked a friend for recommendations for one of the services.  The second repairman I found by searching the yellow pages, and after he arrived and began his repairs, he gave a recommendation for someone to accomplish the third repair.  With money being a little tight, we were concerned about the possible cost of these repairs, but God was good to us, sending us people who were honest and professional, and the repairs were surprisingly not nearly as expensive as we thought they might be.  As always, God provided.  In the one case, He guided us to a friend who had many contacts and was able to advise us.  In the second, He simply guided my research and my thinking to just the right person, and that person added the third piece.

These unexpected challenges reminded us about how faithful God is and reminded us that we do not need to be afraid of the problems that Satan and the world may throw at us.  It would be nice if we did not ever have such challenges, but God in His Infinite Wisdom allows such things to come through, under His Control, so that we grow closer to Him, so that our faith grows a little stronger each time, and so that our Christian character develops a little bit more.  Psalm 66:10 tells us, “For You, O God, have tested us; you have refined us as silver is refined.”  Although we may not like being challenged, each of these challenges refines us and makes us a little more useful to Him and refines our character and faith just as silver is refined.

This is one of the main reasons why we have such challenges come to us in this world.  Those of us who are saved by Jesus are God’s spiritual children, and He puts us through His training program for life, developing us a little more every day, a process we call sanctification.  Philippians 1:6 mentions this training program:  “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  There is much work to be done in our training.  I know that as I have reached 52 years of age, having been saved by Jesus for 44 of those years, I can honestly say that He still has a lot more work to do in me.  I still have struggles, doubts, fears, etc.  So, regardless of whether I would prefer an easier path than the one He chooses for me, I know that this path is for the best and that each test and trial He allows me to go through is for my refinement and for His glory.  

I pray that you would be filled with His Power, Wisdom, Peace, and Courage to face whatever tests and trials you are facing and that your Christian character would be refined a little more each time you face these things. 



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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 


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