God does His deepest work through the storms of relationships. Most hardships are relational. When we get shaken, even to our core, we find out what’s within us. The picture is usually not too pretty. At least that’s been my experience. I’ve cried out to God in such times, “Here we go again, haven’t I learned this lesson yet?” Obviously, a rhetorical question.
Through such times, God is refining me. I once heard the Lord say to me, “Steve, I’ve seen what you can do, let Me show you what I can do.” I’ve heard this so many times. When will I learn that His ways are not my ways?
Surrender is the answer again. Surrendering to His love and gentleness is never easy, but it’s the answer. The great drama of the ages is, “Christ in us the hope of glory.” Christ is there, but He wants to not just be there, but be in control. Control is the hardest thing about surrender. Giving Him control is the ongoing process of training.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in Hebrews 12. Daily, I’ve found my eyes and heart landing on verse 11. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” To be trained in the fire is not pleasant, but needful if we desire to be useable for God’s kingdom.
God’s training camp is hardship and God’s reward is the, “harvest of righteousness and peace.” That’s what I look at when I’m enduring such difficulties—the harvest. I want the harvest of right motives and the peace of right relationships.
Beloved, if you are having difficulties in your relationships, don’t quit! Remember the promise and reward. The hardships are worth the transformation.
Looking to the harvest,
Steve Holt M.A., D.D.
My newest book, Worshipper Warrior, can be found at www.steveholtonline.org