My devotion today from Turning Point was so good that I copied it for today's post: Throw Out the Beads
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 NIV
When Richard Cecil saw the delight on his daughter’s face for the box of beads someone gave her, he said “They are beautiful, my child, but now, throw them behind the fire.” It was a great trial for the little girl, but she remembered that her father had never asked her to do anything that wasn’t good. So she threw the beads in the fire. The next day her father presented her with something far more beautiful that she had desired for a long time. He then explained the importance of trusting her heavenly Father during trials later on in life. Thus, he was training his child’s faith.
Faith is a difficult concept and an even tougher discipline for a lot of people. Because it doesn’t come easily, it is necessary for God to train our faith by allowing us to experience testing and trials and experience His faithfulness. By doing this, He effectively teaches us that when we are in the throes of a personal storm, the turbulent winds will not destroy us, but they will shape our faith in Almighty God.
This is the purpose of pain for the redeemed: It is one of your Father's ways of speaking to you; it is the evidence of His limitless love, by which He would draw you farther from evil and closer to Him, the divine remedy which can cure you of pride and help you lean more trustingly on the Lord. Walter A. Maier
You know my mind initially thinks "what am I going to have to give up?" However, I should be thinking "what do I need to give up." I'm so glad that my Father only asks me to give up those things that keep me from getting closer to Him.