Today’s Scripture: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2‑4

If you’ve ever opened an old can of paint for a do-it-yourself project, then you know separated paint isn’t immediately usable. It’s not smooth, creamy or spreadable. It’s mottled, unsettled, and looks similar to the disgusting combination of spoiled mayonnaise and Italian dressing. So what do you do with separated paint? You take a paint stick and start stirring it. The paint won’t combine immediately, but given enough time and mixing, it will combine into a usable form.

Our lives are much like a separated can of paint. When God takes ownership of us, we’re in a very unusable state. Our lives are mottled by sin, and unsettled by our circumstances. We’re very unholy, and we struggle with our sin nature’s control over our lives. However, God wants to use us and make us fit for His service. So what does God do? He starts stirring our lives up.

God will use various trials to make us less dependent on ourselves and more dependent upon Him. The unpleasantness of the Holy Spirit’s conviction wrought by God’s Word will remove sins, addictions, and bad habits from our lives. God will use problems and difficulties to teach us life lessons and help us to mature. None of this discomfort is by chance. It is all specifically designed by God for the purpose of refining our lives and making us usable and fit for His service.

Very rarely will we go through one type of trial only once. We will experience the same type of difficulties and trials at different points in our lives. When we observe the differences in our reactions to those trials, we will see how we have grown, matured, and changed over the years. This is an indication of how God has developed us and serves to give us confidence for future testing.

Take heart. If your life feels stirred up and unsettled, God hasn’t abandoned you. He’s refining you. When the trial stops, you’ll be a better person, a better Christian, and a better fit for the Master’s use. Then the blessing and peace of God will come.

Devotional by Pastor C.J Armstrong