I Peter 4:12 (GNT) My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening to you.

As people of God, we might be compelled to think that when trouble grinds our lives to a halt, it does so because of sin in our lives. While this may be the cause of some troubles, it does not follow that living a life as sin-free people will exempt us from all trouble. After all, the fruitful trees get shaken! The tree bearing no fruit is left alone and withers.

Trouble happens, and many times our troubles arise because of our own unwise decisions. Sometimes troubles are God’s discipline in our lives; God’s grinding in our lives many times is to sharpen us, God’s sandpaper is purposed to refine us. When that discipline has been achieved, we would do well to remember the lessons learned and throw away the sandpaper. God does not want us to dwell upon the hardships He allows in our lives.

I believe today in my heart that God does not want us to think of discipline in a negative way only, but as an opportunity to align ourselves with His divine will. Our God wants us to forget the sandpaper of hard times, while not forgetting the lessons learned from experience. However, God does not want us to be surprised when troubles arise in our lives. God’s discipline is corrective, however, and the troubles He allows become the framework for spiritual growth and maturity. Blessings and peace have a fantastic day!

Elder Baker

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