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Summary: Paul teaches us that “experiences” may come into our life so God can smooth off the rough edges off of our character. The Lord is in the process of fashioning us more into the image of Jesus Christ. He is the potter and we are the clay.

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1. Have you considered all the blessings that are available to you when you hear the word, “No”. Most of us like to get what we want, but are frustrated when we hear somebody say, “No” to our requests. Instead of growing resentful, angry or disillusioned when you come up against denials of your requests try to understand what God is trying to teach you.

Paul gives us a clue in how to find benefits when we experience disagreeable experiences. He wrote, “Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance and fortitude develops maturity of character.” (vs 3,4)

The apostle is showing us how to get blessed fruit off of the bitter trees of life. This advice is coming from a man who said,

“As sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, in good reports and bad reports, as having nothing, yet possessing all things.” (2 Cor. 6)

When we run into refusals we can realize that God may be asking us to change our attitude, alter our behavior or realign our thinking more with His sovereign purposes, plans or processes.

Application: The Lord is far more interested in helping us become mature in Christ than giving us what we want. Trust the Lord to teach you how to discover more of the blessings of “No experiences”.

2. Paul teaches us how to exult and triumph even in our troubles. We can learn how to appropriate the blessings of “No experiences” when we see things more from God’s perspective than our own. Our heavenly Father knows what it best. He never allows anything to come into our life that we are unable to handle.

Application: Ask the Lord to help you count it all joy when you encounter various trials. God is working all things together for your good in ways you may not understand or appreciate at the time.

3. Paul teaches us that “No experiences” may come into our life so God can smooth off the rough edges off of our character. The Lord is in the process of fashioning us more into the image of Jesus Christ. He is the potter and we are the clay.

Application: Allow Him to mold you and make you after His will while you are waiting, yielded and still. Let Him have his own way with you and your family.

4. Paul teaches us that “No experiences” may come into our life to expose areas of weakness, deficiency or sins of faulty attitudes. Many times the Lord slams the door in our face because we may not be willing to deal with certain deficiencies in our attitude.

Maybe there is someone here who is running away from what God wants them to do like Jonah. God said “No” to Jonah because He wanted His word preached to the people of Nineveh. God may say No to you because He has prepared you to do something you may have been refusing to do for a while.

Nobody enjoys having their shortcomings pointed out, but God uses criticism to force us to focus on areas where we fall short of the glory of God. The Lord cannot use the proud and self-sufficient, in fact He opposes them. (I Pet. 5:5,6)


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