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TRIALS

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TRIALS

Post  Admin on Sun 30 Apr 2017, 4:04 pm

Trials

There was a blacksmith who gave his heart to God. Though conscientious in
his living, still he was not prospering materially. In fact, it seems that
from
the time of his conversion, more trouble, affliction and loss were sustained
than ever before. Everything seemed to be going wrong.

One day, a friend who was not a Christian stopped at the blacksmith's shop
to talk to him. Sympathizing with him in some of his trials, the friend
said.
"It seems strange to me that so much affliction should come to you just at
the time when you have become an earnest Christian. Of course, I don't want
to weaken your faith in God or anything like that. But here you are, with
God's help and guidance, and yet things seem to be getting steadily worse. I
can't help wondering why it is."

The blacksmith did not answer immediately, but finally, he said, "You see
here the raw iron which I have to make into horse's shoes. You know what I
do
with it? I take a piece and heat it in the fire until it is red, almost
white with the heat. Then I hammer it unmercifully, to shape it as I know it
should
be shaped. Then I plunge it into a pail of cold water to temper it. Then I
heat it again and hammer it some more. And this I do until it is finished."

"But sometimes I find a piece of iron that won't stand up under this
treatment. The heat and the hammering and the cold water are too much for
it. I don't
know why it fails in the process, but I know it will never make a good
horse's shoe." He pointed to a heap of scrap iron that was near the door of
his
shop. "When I get a piece that cannot take the shape and temper, I throw it
out on the scrap heap. It will never be good for anything.

He went on, "I know that God has been holding me in the fires of affliction
and I have felt His hammer upon me. But I don't mind, if only He can bring
me to what I should be. And so, in all these hard things my prayer is simply
this: Try me in any way you wish, Lord, only don't throw me on the scrap
heap."

"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)

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