Do you feel like the weight of the world is on you? Do you feel under pressure and not sure if you can hold up? You’ve heard the quote, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But you find yourself thinking that you do not even like lemonade, so just keep the lemons.
When life gets tough and each day seems like a struggle we often find ourselves asking this question… God, why? But today we propose a different question for you to ask. Instead of asking “why,” how about asking this instead, “God, what do you want to build into me through this trial?”
Following Jesus does not promise us a struggle-free life. In fact, Jesus tells us just the opposite. In John 16:33 we read these words of Jesus – “In this world you will have trouble.” The Greek word used here for trouble is “thlipsis” which literally means crushed, pressed, or squeezed as from a great weight.
Now back to the question we proposed asking God in the midst of being crushed, pressed and squeezed. The question of “God, what do you want to build into me through this trial?” rather than simply asking “Why?” The Bible tells us that it is during trials that we grow and mature. Not an easy thing to digest, but it is true. In James 1:2-4 we read this – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (NIV). A few verses later we see this – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him (NIV). The crown of life referred to in this passage is not referencing eternal life, but rather, life here and now enjoyed abundantly and in greater fullness.
We will end with this. What are diamonds? They are precious stones made of crystalline carbon. But diamonds are not naturally beautiful and flawless. They are formed under extreme pressure and extreme temperature miles and miles under the earth’s surface. Their beauty and value comes from being subjected to being crushed, pressed and squeezed.
So, when life gives you lemons, take those lemons and crush them, press them, squeeze them, and make diamonds. Also, take time to enjoy a refreshing glass of ice cold lemonade!