In His Hands

Today’s lesson focuses on changes that the Father must make in our lives that sometimes is painful yet necessary to help us get to the destiny and plan he has for us.  We must trust him and know that he will never put on us more than we can bear, and that everything we go through in the process is necessary, and will, in the end, work out for good to those that love Him.

Handout:  In His Hands

Are you going through a hard time now that you don’t understand?  Do you feel like you can’t take much more and you don’t understand why God has brought you to such pain?  I pray this lesson will help you understand the process of change that we must endure in order to be more like Christ.  When the Father chips away at this old nature, it’s a hard and painful ordeal, but if we just trust him, praise him, and obey, in the end, we will be stronger and we will be blessed in living in the divine plan God has in store for each of our lives.

I heard a story that really encouraged me.  Maybe some of you have already heard it I'm not sure, but it was a story about a tea cup.  It’s a blessing to those who may be going through a hard time right now and don’t understand why.

This man and woman go into a little store one day while shopping.  They are quietly looking around and suddenly the woman takes the man’s attention to a tall shelf on which there is one of the most beautiful and unique tea cups sitting up on the top shelf.  They both begin to admire it and discuss how beautiful, special and unique it is.  The man says to the woman, I must buy this tea cup for you. It was at that moment, the tea cup began to speak to the couple.

I wasn't always this way, said the tea cup. I began as a big lump of grey clay that was ordinary and simple. No one wanted or cared for me. However, one day the potter found me and took me into his hands and began to work me into a different shape. It was so painful the tea cup said, I begged him to stop but he would just shake his head and say not yet, day after day. Then, the potter placed me on this spinning wheel, I was so dizzy and confused, I didn't understand what was going on or why I had to go through this whole painful process.
Finally, I was in the shape that I have now and thought it was over but then the potter put me into this oven which he called the first firing. FIRST FIRING I cried, how many must I endure? The potter placed me into the fire and it was so hot. I began to beg and scream please stop this I cannot take it, it's too painful, still the potter would look through the glass between us and say, not yet.

Finally, he took me out of that horrible fire but he began to paint me with this blue paint color that I have now but it was horrible. It was stinky and I couldn't breathe and it was choking me and again I pleaded with the potter, haven't I been through enough? Please stop this, but the potter just shook his head and said those familiar words, not yet.
Then just when I thought I desperately could not take anymore, the potter placed me into what was called the second firing and I thought I would die.  It was hotter than the first fire.

I was too weak to scream or fight, so I began to weep uncontrollably and say to the potter, I thought you were suppose to handle me with care.  I thought you loved me.  Why must you do this to me?  Please I beg you, I beg you, stop this, take me out, but the potter lovingly smiled and said, not yet.
Just when I was at the end of my rope, he took me out of the fire and put me upon this top shelf to cool off. Then, one day he put a mirror in front of me and I couldn't believe how much I had changed, and now everyone that comes in now wants to buy me and they call me special and unique.

Looking back I see now that all the pain was necessary and that the potter really did care.  He was making me into what the he saw I could be, something beautiful, special, and unique that can be used to bring joy to others.  Even though at the time I didn’t understand, I knew that he had a reason.
1Corinthians 1:25 “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
Are you in the potter’s hands?  Are you suffering things that you don’t understand?  Trust the potter, he loves you and he may just be molding you into what he see’s you can be.
Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, but
joy comes in the morning.”

There is a song that the Perry’s sing, I hear it sometimes on a gospel station, part of it goes like this. 
      “The potter knows the clay, how much pressure it can take.  How many times around the wheel, till there’s submission to his will.  He’s planned a beautiful design, but it will take some fire and time.  It’s all going to be ok, because the potter knows the clay.”
Those lyrics are such a blessing.  We can trust our Father because he loves us and he knows us better than we know ourselves. 
The past two or three years, I've learned first hand the night season of life can be long, maybe days, weeks, months, even years sometimes.  However, God, our Father, the Potter, he knows what is best and he is molding us into what he sees us to be, he is molding us into our destiny.  We can trust him.  The pain is not in vain.  He is working on our behalf.  If only we trust, obey, and never give up because joy will come in the morning.  Hallelujah!!!

Hang in there, your father is turning you into something unique, beautiful, and special and one day will use you to help others. If you feel like you can’t go on, that you can’t take anymore, just cry out to him and trust.  Remember that when we are weak, he is made strong in us.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 13:4 “For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God.  For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.”

He is still working on me too.  You are not alone.
Remember to live to serve others in love and humility this week!
Discussion:  Discuss the things you may have gone through and now that you look back you see that it was God working in your life for good.   

Dearest Heavenly Father…
How worthy You are to be praised.  There is no other like You nor will there ever be.  We worship You Father.  We come to You today in the name of Jesus.  We thank You and we worship you.  Help us to be strong and to trust you in the times when it is necessary for you to change us.  Help us to praise you and trust you even in the times when it hurts and when we don’t understand.  We know Lord that you love us and that you only do the things that you know is best for us.  We know that you see far beyond what we can see or know and we thank you that you have our best interests in mind and at heart.  Help us to always obey and follow your instruction even when it doesn’t seem logical.  Forgive if we doubt or if we stumble or complain and help us get back the attitude of Christ.  We will forever praise you and thank you for all that you do and for all that you are Almighty Father.  We thank you Jesus for being our love and savior.  In the beautiful name of JESUS we pray…AMEN!

With love,
December 17, 2017