Tag Archives: sanctification

Roses Have Thorns: Allowing God to Refine Us

Sometimes our journey of friendship with God isn’t all roses. Roses are beautiful and lovely in appearance and fragrance. They are given to show love, that we are held dear to the heart of the Giver.

But roses also have thorns. When we pick up a rose, we are careful to avoid grabbing the stem where a thorn resides, so we are not stabbed by it. At the same time, we know the thorn is there as we acknowledge it by our making room for it.

When we pursue the Lord, we cannot ignore the hard things. We know they are there. God knows they are. He sees our hearts and all we go through, and He wants to touch our lives even in these areas. But if we pretend these things don’t exist, it can hinder Him from fashioning us in those areas.

Impurities must be brought to surface for the revealing of the fine silver that is us.

It is in the refining that the beauty is able to come forth. Ashes before beauty. The coal before the diamond. But if the pressure upon that coal is hindered, the diamond will not fully come forth.

It is painful at times, but He is worth it, and His glory to be revealed in us is worth it.

Let Him bring the fullness of His character forth in your life. He makes all things beautiful in His time. You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Faith Not Feeling and Other Thoughts

I think so often we search for feelings & experiences, forgetting that the truth of God’s Word needs to never be neglected. We can only gain the knowledge & discernment we need through studying His Word, not basing our relationship with God too greatly on feelings or experiences. Our own feelings cannot be trusted–they change faster than the weather at times & are often the result of missed perceptions of people, situations & experiences.

Truth can rarely be known based solely on our feelings. We must continue to be in His Word, being sanctified by Him & surrendering to His will each day so that we can share the Good News & God’s truth with those who do not know Him. Then we can share the Gospel while truly being examples of how God is changing & growing us to be more Christ-like, & also grow in discernment as we study His Word.

We should be being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2), not giving only to get more, chasing after every feel-good speaker or anointing we hear about to gain artificial highs, or refusing to change from our pre-salvation selves thinking it doesn’t truly matter since we’ve been forgiven (see Romans 6). How can we be witnesses by our lives to the Gospel & how the truth of His Word renews our minds if we do not continually put off our old selves & actually renew our minds (Ephesians 4:21-32 & Colossians 3:1-10)?

Nonbelievers will see & hear us, but not care a bit when we share the Gospel if our lives look just like theirs. Instead they might say, “Well, I must be fine like I am because these Christians aren’t any different from before they became Christians.” If we are without joy and love, how will they want anything to do with what we have?

We should ache to share His love — because WOW! How He so loves us to have died for our sins — but a big part of being in a right relationship with Jesus Christ is making Him our Lord & Savior:  We must wholeheartedly repent of our sins in order to do so.

In turn, a desire should grow in us to do what God requires of us to grow this relationship through His Word & doing our part as He makes us more like Christ, also being obedient to share the Gospel with those we encounter in our lives as God leads us.

Something I heard spoken about recently was calling ourselves Christians & yet not living this label:

Christian. That’s our name — a word which has root in CHRIST. Instead let us change ourselves as we deliberately strive to become more like Christ Jesus, Who gave His life for us. Let us grow closer to God through studying His Word, & grow greater in love & unity each day of our lives on this earth, seeking to be witnesses for Christ in all of ourselves — word, deed, mind, heart, soul & strength.