Today’s Scripture: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1¬†Peter¬†1:7-8

Had Israel enjoyed their former peace and prosperity in Egypt, when Moses came to invite them to Canaan, I think they would hardly have listened to him. But the Lord suffered them to be brought into great trouble and bondage, and then the news of deliverance was more welcome, yet still they were but half willing, and they carried a love for the flesh-pots of Egypt with them into the wilderness. We are like them: though we say this world is vain and sinful, we are too fond of it; and though we hope for true happiness only in heaven, we are often well content to stay longer here. But the Lord sends afflictions one after another to quicken our desires, and to convince us that this cannot be our rest. Sometimes if you drive a bird from one branch of a tree, he will hop to another a little higher, and from thence to a third; but if you continue to disturb him, he will at last take wing, and fly quite away. Thus we, when forced from one creature-comfort, perch upon another, and so on; but the Lord mercifully follows us with trials and will not let us rest upon any; by degrees our desires take a nobler flight, and can be satisfied with nothing short of Himself; and we say: To depart and be with Jesus is best of all! – John Newton

We tend to cling to the things that are familiar and comfortable. We would be content to live out our lives with as little trouble as possible. Because of this, God often has to ruffle our feathers. Imagine a young bird in a nest. The chick wants to be pampered for its entire life. He is content with having his mother find food and bring it back to him. But when the mother bird tries to teach the young birds to fly, they very often are unwilling and sometimes have to be pushed out.

God sometimes has to take away everything we can hold on to and push us out of the nest in order for us to learn to trust Him. It is only when we learn to fly that we can attain new heights. Don’t think of your trials simply as a difficulty you must endure but as an opportunity to soar.

Devotional by Dr. Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.