“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed — always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body,” 2 Corinthians 4:7-10.
Just as an artist sees a progression in his paintings, so we should use those things we have already learned spiritually to build upon.
In our humble little place we have our own artwork on many of the walls, propped up in a few areas, along with a few hundred more stowed away in a closet.
Over the years, both my wife and I have accumulated a lot of artwork, which is our own. Much of it are landscapes, still life, floral, along with several spiritual and biblical-themed works.
In looking at much of our work, I can see that hopefully I have grown some in my ability to capture the essence of light, composed a better composition, and perhaps have learned how to create something that is pleasing to the eye.
I would imagine that anyone who does something that is either creative or is perfecting of a craft, whether it be in music, writing, or whatever else, would see that there is growth observed in their work.
This is true also in our spiritual and personal lives. What we learned two or three years ago, shouldn’t have to be repeated again and again.
Of course if we haven’t learned some of these lessons then life somehow brings these things up again and again until we finally have either mastered them, or come to the point of not having to continue reliving them.
An athlete, after repeatedly running or lifting weights, will have developed muscles and stamina, and thus will have now been able to run further and have gained a greater strength and endurance.
When we are stretched sometimes beyond what we think that we can endure, in time our spiritual muscles become stronger and more resilient to life’s troubles and trials.
However, I must be honest here, because as some know, there have been arrows flung at me over the last several months that have burdened me and kept me at times from running the race that is set before me.
I may well have wisdom and other abilities, but at times I so easily carry these things and they begin to overwhelm me, instead of allowing The Father to carry them for me.
So my need of stretching is with my Faith, and the only way that I can have growth in this area is to allow those circumstances not to overwhelm me — but to see their purpose.
Then perhaps I can get up again and walk more upright and continue the pace on down the road.
All of us have some type of weakness that needs to be perfected. And then just like that painting that is set before us, you can then pick up the brush and know what shade and color to use on the canvas before you.
The brushstrokes will take on a more masterful approach, and the light will exude from the trees beyond.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?