Growing in Grace
A gardener will plant flower seeds, cultivate the ground and watch the green sprouts eventually push through the soil, burst forth, and finally blossom. It takes time and a combination of certain conditions - not too much heat but enough sunshine, nutrients but not so much that the flower burns, and so forth. Similarly, it's clear that we are to grow in our interaction with God with the challenges we daily face. That's what grace is about. Grace involves the interaction of God's love and compassion with your need. He guides, overshadows and enriches your life, although you may not sense it or know what He is doing. You can only look back in retrospect and say, "Wow! I now see how God met me in this time of crisis!"
In recent days I've had concern over the many people who feel that God has forsaken them, turned His back on them or shut the door of concern in their face just when tough times confront them. No, God hasn't forsaken you. He's simply pruning the tree or He's breaking up the hard soil so you can grow in grace. He's exposing you to enough heat to allow you to grow, not despair. Warren Wiersbe says that when we face affliction, God always keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.
Once you have a deep-settled understanding that God is a good God and that He will not turn His back on you when troubles come, you are in a position to grow in grace. Let the strong hand of God lead you through your experience, tilling the soil of your soul in such a way that you will someday look back and say, "Ah, yes, now I see how the grace of God brought me through."
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 PETER 3:18