Life’s Pop Quizzes

Raw metal is heated till it glows, then plunged into a brine or oil with a screaming hissing sound. The process produces a hardness and durability that comes no other way. Aren’t you glad that the steel frame in your car does not crack or crumble when you hit a pothole!

When I face a problem, I often have a screaming hissing sound too. I don’t like problems, but they are inevitable. We all have just come out of a problem, will go through one soon, or experiencing one right now.

When life heats you to a glow and plunges you into the brine, God’s purpose is to make more useful, fuller in faith, and complete in him. Just as you can be glad the steel went through a painful process, so too you can be glad, not that you have a problem, but that God can and does bring a good result or a better end.

We have all seen someone with a horrible problem who comes out the other side gentle, confident, and ready to move on. And we also have observed someone with a problem that pales in significance end up bitter, angry, and useless to help anyone else.

Your outlook determines your outcome. God allows the test to bring out the best. Satan wants your bubble to burst to bring out the worst. The ruckus can refine you or ruin you depending on your reactions.

No, I don’t frolic at funerals, get hilarious in the hospital, or have zest with a zero bank account. But whether tomorrow’s plans are crushed or life’s plan is wreaked, whether there’s a blister on my finger or an aneurysm in my artery, I can be glad that every problem has a label, “Permitted by God.”

Gold is heated in order to remove the dross. Wind attacks the kernel of wheat to blow away the chaff. A ship built in dry dock must eventually face the gale force wind. The raw recruit in boot camp eventually is tested in the reality of battle. An oyster takes the irritation of a grain of sand and makes a pearl.

The Bible says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

Do life’s potholes cause you to crumble or do they temper you to follow the Lord Jesus Christ with more resolve? If our lives were problem-free, then we would not sense our need to trust God or receive Jesus as our Savior!

Want to know more? This Sunday at 9am, Pastor Denny will continue the series, “A Faith that Works.” Find messages at BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media.”

Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity.

Contact Pastor Denny at

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Pastor Denny

Pastor, Husband, Father, PawPa

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