Summary: For those who feel their life is spinning out of control, it probably is, but if you are on the wheel of God rest assured it will make you or if you resist break you. Lessons from The Potter.
THE WHEEL OF GOD
Jeremiah 18:1-3 -v3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel.
The word for wheel in the Hebrew is a word picture—it literally means two stones. The potter would simply use their feet to turn the clay, freeing up his hands to shape the vessel. We can think of the wheel as the wheel of life. Personal events give us opportunities to be shaped by the Creator.
The Lord makes us into the vessels by applying pressure through trials and suffering. He knows what the vessel should look like. He knows what He must do make us the vessel unto honor. No one suffered more than Christ!
Until we are tested we don’t know what we are really like. Often we want to run from or change our circumstances. If we do, we will only find that we will face the same circumstances elsewhere over and over again. Why does this happen?
Self will - God never forces His will upon us. Yet He knows the best - we need to lay our rebellion at His feet and not resist Him.
The unwillingness to break with sin - The vessel may look good to the normal person but the Master Potter knows the flaw in the vessel. He does His best to rid this flaw from the vessel.
Getting off the wheel - The vessel becomes a problem when it moves. the place that vessel become what it needs to be is in the middle of the wheel.
Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
HOW GOD SHAPES OUR LIVES AND CHARACTER:
CONSTRUCTION BY SUFFERING
Proverbs 17:3 “The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts.”
Psalm 119:67,71 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
The word "afflicted" means to experience pain, grief or injury; it also conveys the idea of failure with its accompanying feelings of defeat and dejection. Experiencing affliction promotes an obedient life - Experiencing affliction prompts a teachable spirit - Suffering teaches us: To see God – To see ourselves – To see and pray for others.
2 Corinthians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
Ex. 1: 6-14 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
It was my sickness, not my health, that showed me he was a healer.
It was my lack, not my abundance, that showed me that he was a provider.
It was my defeats, not my victories, which showed me that he would fight my battles. (Unknown)
We have been praying, “God make me more like you!” to be like him you have to be willing to go through some of the things that he when through!
• Your Christ likeness comes only on the back of affliction.
This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. (1 Peter 2:21 MSG)
• Our salvation came by affliction.
• Our comfort came by affliction.
• Our deliverance came by affliction.
Christ was our example of how to suffer.
• He was our example of how to pray through.
• He was our example on how to be hated and not be a hater.
• He was our example of how to be talked about and keep our mouth close.
CONSTRUCTION BY TRIALS
Three reasons for trials:
1. To Build our Faith - 1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
2. To Purify our lives - 1 Peter 4:1,2,12-19 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. - 12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator. Malachi 3:3 “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.