Life is hard. But it is harder if you don't know the One who created us, and re-creates us day by day.
In his book, “Encourage Me”, Chuck Swindoll related the story of “The Hammer, The File and The Furnace”. Here is part of that story that has ministered to me greatly over the years.
The hammer is a useful and handy instrument. It is an essential and helpful tool, if nails are ever to be driven into place. Each blow forces them to bite deeper as the hammer’s head pounds and pounds. But if the nail had feelings and intelligence, it would give us another side of the story. To the nail, the hammer is a brutal, relentless master – an enemy who loves to beat it into submission. That is the nail’s view of the hammer. It is correct. Except for one thing. The nail tends to forget that both it and the hammer are held by the same workman. The workman decides whose “head” will be pounded out of sight…and which hammer will be used to do the job. This decision is the sovereign right of the carpenter. Let the nail but remember that it and the hammer are held by the same workman…and its resentments will fade as it yields to the carpenter without complaint.
The same analogy holds true for the metal that endures the rasp of the file and the blast of the furnace. If the metal forgets that it and the tolls are objects of the same craftsman’s care, it will build up hatred and resentment. The metal must keep in mind that the craftsman knows what he’s doing … and is doing what is best.
Heartaches and disappointments are like the hammer, the file and the furnace. … As difficult as it may be for you to believe this today, the Master knows what He’s doing. Your Savior knows your breaking point. That bruising and crushing and melting process is designed to reshape you, not ruin you. Your value is increasing the longer He lingers over you.