When building a structure, a bad stone is not placed in the wall because it would weaken the structure and cause it to fall. And as stones are shaped to ensure proper placement in the structure, chunks of rock are pounded away with hammer and chisel. Then comes the finer chiseling where virtually every face of the rock is chipped away to expose only the perfect shape. A sculptor does this also when creating a work of art.
Image courtesy of: alasdair massie
“As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 2:4,5
As Jesus is the cornerstone of the church, so too are we living stones that are an important part of the church which is the temple of the living God. We are the church, and every stone in his church wall is important. Every single one of our lives matter.
And as living stones of the church, we must be prepared and made sound for God’s temple. Just like stones are prepared and shaped, so are our perfections chipped away through trials and challenges and adversity that we must overcome. But in the end, all that remains is a solid and well-shaped stone ready to be used in God’s temple.
As we are refined and prepared for use in God’s temple, let us not be surprised if we go through some discomfort. Progress often involves pain. And during these times it can be easy to become discouraged and lose faith, and get mad or complain to God. Someone once said that if stones could speak as they were being shaped, I’m sure they too would complain of the pain they had to endure as large chunks of their original form are being chipped away.
But having some pain in this life should not surprise us. It doesn’t surprise us when we exercise and lift weights that our bodies experience some pain as our muscles are tore down. We could go through countless examples of where this tearing down and rebuilding and strengthening process exists. Further, the Bible doesn’t promise us that life is a box of rainbows and butterflies. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that in this life there will be trouble.
But let us be encouraged that our God is a good God. Let us be encouraged that He is in control. And let us have faith and know that any pain an suffering is only temporary. And let us be encouraged and know that it is all part of the process and know that whatever it is that we are facing, no problem is too big for our God.
As we fix our eyes on Christ and follow Him, we can know that what the enemy meant for harm God can turn around for our good. We can have faith knowing that we are being prepared and shaped for our own unique and special calling and purpose here on this earth.
A few examples where biblical leaders understood this principle:
- Hezekiah knew that his suffering, the chipping away of part of his stone, was for God’s glory and was further refining and polishing him. Hezekiah acknowledged, “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.” – (Isaiah 38:17)
- David recognized this truth also where he said, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” – (Psalm 119:71)
Knowing that we are living stones in the church, we can hold firm to our faith when we face trials and tribulations. And as we experience pain or discomfort that inevitably comes with this life on earth, we can be encouraged knowing that our God has given us a way to deal with it.
And as we fix our eyes on Jesus and follow him, we can be at peace knowing that God is ultimately preparing us for our ultimate purpose and calling in the house of God. And we can be at peace when we are on God’s team because we know that God always wins. And God, who is the the Creator of the heaven and the earth and life itself, is also the ultimate sculptor and finisher of our faith. And we are His work of art, his masterpiece.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word this morning. Let us be assured and know that our struggles are preparing us as living stones in your holy temple. Give us a solid faith to know that what the enemy intends for harm you turn around for good. Thank you for sending Jesus the living cornerstone who is the Truth, the Light, and the Way for us to follow. Fill us today with all of your goodness. Let your power and strength carry us through today, not by our will but by Yours! We are so grateful and so humbled by your love and mercy. Where I am weak, let your strength overcome. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 2 Kings 20; Isaiah 38,39; Psalm 75; 1 Peter 2
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2
- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
- “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:19-22
- “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people’.” – 2 Corinthians 6:16
- “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” – Psalm 119:71
- “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” – Isaiah 38:17
- “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20
- “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:5
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