The exquisite and stunning diamond is one of the best


known and most sought after gemstones. While nature 


determines the color of the diamond... 


the hand of a master craftsman is needed to release 


its fire and beauty.


Diamonds are well known to transmit light and sparkle 


intensely. The beauty, sparkle, and clarity of diamonds 


comes from the harsh and extreme pressure they endured 


during the refining process. Once they are cut (with the 


proper proportions), then shaped, buffed, and polished... 


their inner beauty is revealed.

The same holds true for each of us. Just as the diamond... 


our Master Craftsman is needed in order that our fire 


and beauty might be revealed.


Let us not be surprised if and when Satan comes along to 


torment and trample our souls to the dust in an effort 


to deceive us. Satan is notorious for pointing out our past 


mistakes"I remember who you were." 


But we can confidently bind and rebuke Satan, 


in Jesus' Name, 


and send him and his misery back to the pit of hell 


with our answer of, 


Yes, I may have been, but seasons change.

 

I'm not there anymore.


God has a way of allowing us to bloom wherever


we have been planted. It matters not about the fertilizer 


we have gone through. God has strategically allowed us 


to be placed precisely where we needed to be, 


at each stage of our journey, for such a time as this.

Our quality of character, righteousness, and worth are 


forged in the furnace of affliction to teach us, prepare us, 


equip us, perfect us, and purify us for greater works. Yes, 


our inner beauty, sparkle, and clarity comes from 


the extreme pressures endured during our refining seasons 


of trials and tribulations. 


God's intentions toward us are always pure 


and for our good. At times, a certain amount of pain 


and suffering is what God will use to help shape, 


mold, and transform us. 


God is much like a Master Gardener


God prunes and lifts up every branch in us, 


whether the branch is a person, place, or thing that bears 


no fruit, misdirects us, weakens the energy of our 


spiritual life, stagnates us, or diminishes our 


growth in Him.

God desires for each of His children the very same things 


we desire for our own offspring. God seeks maturity 


in terms of our relationship with Him. 


God calls us to make a difference as we abide in Him. 


We are called to bear fruit in this world so the world 


will know God.

 

Apart from God we cannot produce a fruitful life. 


We are not independent, but completely dependent on God 


to produce fruit. 


God created us to be fruitful, to multiply, and transmit


light... regardless of who we are or what may have 


happened in our past. 


God wants us to grow, increase, abound, flourish, 


and reproduce much fruit.

Although life is filled with physical and 


emotional bumps, bruises, and setbacks... these 


experiences are not meant to deplete us of 


our spiritual oxygen. God loans us these golden moments 


and uses even our times of suffering to mold and shape us 


for His purposes and our ultimate good.


According to Romans 8:29, Trials and tribulations have a 


divine purpose. Trials and tribulations can push us forward


 and develop godly character which can enable us to 


"Rejoice in our suffering."

We know that suffering produces perseverance;


 perseverance, character; and character... confidence.

God's ultimate purpose for 


allowing trials and tribulations is for


us to grow more and more into 


the image of His Son. 

As we turn within for healing, deeper truths, 


and Divine Guidance... we discover that life's bumps,


bruises, and setbacks can be excellent teachers 


who remind us of the greater gifts inherent in our wounds.

 

Pain can transform us and work for our ultimate good. 


Pain and suffering has a way of stripping away 


those things that will not bring out the best in us. 


Pain can often help us find a new sense of purpose, 


a beautiful and new chapter in our lives, and the 


realization of our inner peace.


Some have come to realize, hidden in their pain, 


was God's purpose for their lives. They were able to 


make their greatest strides, in their Spiritual development 


and personal growth... in the midst of their pain and 


suffering.


The most terrible events... can contain sublime 


expressions and powerful purposes to prepare us 


for greater callings. God can take our most extreme 


despair and create something profoundly beneficial 


in us and through usthat can possibly help and heal 


others and ourselves.


Each of us has excellent diamond-like qualities 

embedded within us. These qualities are waiting to be 

unfolded, revealed, and brought to the light. 

God is able to do all of that...
 exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or 

think, according to His power that is at work within us.

Ephesians 3:20

Consider the complete and absolute complexity 


and sheer genius of God's marvelous works and 


design. God is masterful enough to orchestrate all of 


our experiences in such a way that they reveal facets 


that we would have never thought possible. 


Ultimately, God, in His loving kindness, draws us towards 


being the people He desires for us to be, so we can do 


the good things He planned for us long ago.


No one comes out of the valley of pain and suffering 


unchanged. God shows Himself strong on our behalf and 


works out a much higher perfection than was attainable in 


our own strength. God can do what would be impossible 


for us to ever accomplish on our own.


God helps us to grow by allowing us to be challenged 


beyond our strength. In our own strength we may stay 


wounded. We gather strength for our journey 


by trusting God and feasting on God's Word.


When our backs are against the wall... 


it's the eleventh hour and all we can see before us 


is the Red Sea... it forces us to cry out to the One Who can 


give us rest. God is in control of every hour, 


created all there is, and is perfectly able to part the Seas.

God is able to make all grace abound to us, 


so that in all things, at all times, having all that we need, 


we will abound in every good work.


2 Corinthians 9:8


Only God can be God.


It is God and God alone Who has the power to save 


us, rescue us, help us grow, change us, perfect 


us, and deliver us. 


We must be willing to 


trust God's process.

Even for those who are enlightened, let us not think 


of ourselves more highly than we ought. Knowledge can 


puff us up, making one arrogant, haughty, and even falling 


into the temptation of trusting in their own understanding 


rather than God's sufficient grace.


Proverbs strongly encourages us to trust in the Lord 


with all our hearts and not lean on our own understanding.


May we willingly be emptied of self and humbly live to 


bring glory to God. Let us keep our egos at zero and not 


give too high of an estimate of our own powers or allow 


pride to keep us from coming into the fullness 


of all that God has for us.


According to Romans 8:13, 


"By the Spirit... put to death the deeds of the body" 

God is still God... 



Creator of the universe 



(matter, energy, space, and time).



God's power and ability to 


deliver are far beyond our 


understanding.



None of us are qualified 



to behold the glory of God.

Our margin of error shrinks each day... 


no matter who we are.


It is the power, greatness, and strength that comes 


from God that meets our deepest needs. 


Through the raging storms and our bleakest struggles... 


It is God and God alone 


Who carries and sustains us.

No one else deserves the praise and worship


that we give to glorify God.


Isaiah 42:8 confirms this: "I am the Lord; 


that is My Name! I will not give My glory to another or 


My praise to idols."


To glorify God is to honor God


for Who God really is.


Glorifying God begins with taking 


God at His Word, 


especially about Himself. 


May we glorify God in our thoughts, 


words, and actions.

It is abundantly clear that 


Only God is Supreme.


It is impossible for the finite to adequately and completely 


define God; however, we have listed a few of God's 


attributes gleaned from God's Word:

God is Divine and absolutely Holy.


God is Ever-Present (Omnipresent), 


and all-knowing (Omniscient). 


God is all Powerful (Omnipotent).


 God is able to accomplish any task.

God is the self-existent One... 


having no need of being created. 


God existed forever and is the cause


of all things, including the dimension 



of time... to which He is not subject.

God is the Most High. 


God is the Creator, Sustainer, and 


Ruler of the Universe. 


God is Compassionate, God is


Ultimate Reality, God is Trustworthy, 


and Awesome in Glory.


 God is Life and God is Glorious in 


His Perfection. 


God is Majestic, Immeasurable,


 Boundless, Eternal Spirit, 


Infinite Mind, and not restricted by 


Time or Place.


 God is Endless, Immense,


Universally Vast, and Complete. 



God is Faultless and Forever.



God is, according to His Word,


 

ultimately Incomprehensible to us, 



yet knowable. 



God is Rich in Mercy. God is 



Absolute, yet Personal. 



God Knows all, Sees all, 



and Hears All.



God is Totally Sufficient in Every 



Aspect of His Ways and Being, 



and Beyond Our Capacity to


Understand or Explain Exhaustively.

We cannot go it alone. Regardless of 


our race, creed, color, religion, 


language, educational background, 


socio-economic differences, 


experiences, or realities... if we are not 


connected to the Power Source... we 


are powerless.



Let us rely, boast, and be in awe 


only in God,


and live in a manner that glorifies God Who leads 


us through the Valley of Death so that we will 


trust in Him alone.



When we are at our weakest... we cannot sustain 


ourselves... 


God's grace is sufficient.


In our brokenness...


if we are struggling with any issues in life... 


God's power is made available, 


and God's grace is omni-sufficient.

Let us ponder, for a moment, 


all the ways God displays His power. 


Who else, but God controls the raging torrential storms?


 Who else but God can cause the pompous, haughty, 


arrogant kings of the world to rise and fall? 


When the odds are impossible and there is no way, under 


normal circumstances, one can win... Who else but God 


can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?


When problems seem to be compounded, all seems lost, 


and we are overwhelmed with the sense of imminent 


defeat... Who else but God allows us to reach deep 


within and find the strength to press on to victory?


As Believers, the refining process 


can reach particularly great heights. 



When going through... 


let us always remember and never 


forget the examples and sacrifices of 


Jesus. 


Suffering can call us to a 


greater trust in God.


By turning to God for help during times of trials and 


tribulations we can become more aware of how 


God works through our suffering 


to call us to a greater awareness 


of His love for us. 


The more we are aware of God's love for us... the more we 


love God and draw close to God. This intimacy with God 


builds our spiritual strength and stability. The more we are 


strengthened... the more we desire to serve, praise, honor, 


worship, glorify God, and reflect God's character.


Let us glorify God, acknowledge God's greatness 


and give God honor by praising and worshiping God, 


primarily because God alone, deserves to be praised, 


honored, and worshipped.

As we walk under God's authority 


and in God's strength... we come to 


realize when we depend on God...


there is no trial too overwhelming or 


daunting for God to overcome.


Whatever God requires of us... 


He also supplies.



As God faithfully pours out His grace 


upon us, in God's strength, 


we can overcome.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power 


is made perfect in weakness."


2 Corinthians 12:9

Overcoming trials is about God's 


grace, God's power, God's comfort, 


and God's truth.

As long as we faithfully serve God... 


God will strengthen us to overcome 


and benefit from every trial.


God can accomplish anything. 


Throughout Scripture, 


God makes it clear that we should 


have a healthy fear of Him. 



May we yield to the strength that God provides 


us, and recognize that God's power is the greatest 


and is best displayed when we are at our weakest.

No one can do God's work or stop it. 


To leave God out of the equation is to 


overlook our only solution.


Let us never forget...


we can find the solution as we 


look to God.