Perfect Through Suffering

"For it is fitting for Him, for whom all things are by whom are all things in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Hebrews 2:10

 After salvation, comes the real work of perfecting the Believer. This perfection can come no other way then through the trials and testing of our faith. Once we relinquish our will for His, He is free to begin the work of sanctification in our lives. Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus...and Jesus suffered and died to accomplish His perfect plan on this earth. Why then do we think  His perfect plan could be accomplished any other way in and through our lives. If we are seeking to become more like Jesus then the only way to get there is the same way that He did...through death, through trials and through pain. 

Once our salvation is set...Jesus begins working on our character. Character is built through persevering through trials, testing our faith, and building hope into us. Jesus wants us to have faith when we cannot see and trust Him when we have no strength left. He then...gives us eyes to see, strength to continue and hope for the future. Austin Phelps said; " The great objective of this life is character, for it is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity. And gaining as much of the highest character possible is the purpose of our trials."

Steel is the product of iron plus fire. Soil is rock plus heat, or glacier crushing. Linen is flax plus the water that cleanse it, the comb that separates it, the flail that pounds it and the shuttle that weaves it. In the same way, the development of our character must have a plus attached to it! For great character isn't made through luxuries...it's made through sufferings....and the world doesn't forget people of great character! I think of  Elizabeth Elliott, George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, John Wesley and so many more that suffered much, developing their character to be used greatly for the Kingdom of God. 

We often rebel against the very things that the Lord is so wanting to use in our lives to develop our character. We run from it, ignore it, or try and hide from it. When all along the Lord is desiring to use it in our lives to build our character and mold us into HIS very image. God will often use those things...or people, that we find difficult, as polishing stones in our lives...much like a stone is polished, first sanding off the rough edges until it is smooth and perfectly shaped. It's all about perspective. Will we ask Why Lord or How Lord? It's not wrong to ask why, as long as you follow it up with how. "Lord, how do you want to use this in my life?" Embracing the trial or testing instead of rejecting it makes all the difference in the world. 

I read of a mother who brought a crippled boy home with a hunched back to play with her son. She instructed her son to be very careful not to draw attention to the boys deformity, since this was a sensitive matter. After listening to them play for a few minutes, she heard her son ask, "Do you know what that is on your back?" The crippled boy was embarrassed, and hesitated for a moment, but before he could respond, his friend said; "It's the box that hold your wings, and someday God is going to break it open and you will fly away to be an angel." 

Suffering is all how you see it! One author called suffering; "The great fertilizer for the roots of character." Someday we will know the plans and purposes of God, but until then, we must allow Him to mold and shape our character perfectly into His image. If you are struggling today, try and ask God "how" instead of "why". I was so blessed to spend the day with a friend who is going through radiation treatments...she said this very thing to me..." Michelle, I am not asking God "why" I'm asking Him "how". How do you want to use me Lord? What do you what to show me that you  couldn't any other way? Be blessed as you embrace your trial...people will look at you and see Jesus!