Spiritual Sandpaper

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Spiritual sandpaper | Describes the events that happen in our lives that purify us and make us better than before, yet they are painful. In this episode, Felice shares how this can actually cause spiritual growth if we open our eyes to the possibilities 
| #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #SpiritualsandpaperSpiritual Sandpaper – Episode 264

Spiritual sandpaper describes the events that happen in our lives that purify us and make us better than before, yet they are painful. In this episode, Felice shares how this can actually cause spiritual growth if we open our eyes to the possibilities.

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Have you heard sermons about being tested in faith? The longer you follow the Lord, the more you understand this concept. At various times in our life, we strive for goodness, honesty and perhaps even holiness. Yet, our faith deepens not by all the good things that happen in our lives but through our trials.

In the book of Job 23:10 we read, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Our resolve goes one way or another. After being tested, or purified we are not lukewarm but either for or against God. Proverbs 27:21 speaks truth in the verse, ”

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise.

We’ve discussed praise and worship on my past episodes, and praising God in our daily walk can make the difference between happiness and strife. In fact as I write this the Lord has reminded me of a private matter of which I have been praying and beeseching God and I am now going to thank God for the situation. I am not thankful, but if it is God’s will – or God’s permissive will then I will be thankful out of obedience.

Is this true faith to blindly follow? Not at all. It is faith that understands that while we have free will, God’s will is for us to join Him in heaven at the end of our life, and a life of ease and comfort rarely gets us to that destination. The areas of our life that are unchecked lead to temptation. This can look different for each one of us.

Spiritual sandpaper is that time in our life when things are uncomfortable, and yet we see, after the trial, that the outcome is better than we could have hoped and prayed. We had some years of reduced income due to the economy. We never lived over our means, but even our savings accounts and investments did not prevent the outcome. After this very uncomfortable time, the Lord allowed us to keep our home when many around us with deeper pockets went bankrupt, and we were able to pay off our debt in a difficult yet fulfilling way. This time has taught us to value money in a better way than would not have happened without this uncomfortable time in our life.

I praise God for the outcome, which was so much better than I could imagine. In prayer I kept getting those words, they would pop into my mind, “It will be better than you imagine.”

We know sandpaper can be gritty and abrasive, but what happens afterward? The surface is primed and smooth. The sandpaper in our lives was reduced income, it was not a life and death situation, even though it felt like it at that time. Many of you have had a situation with someone who has been abrasive in your life, and it has been a challenge.

Our pastor talks about a husband and wife being sandpaper to each other and it works out our flaws and shortcomings. Our family is also our spiritual sandpaper.

The scriptures talk about being tested many times. The most notable in our spiritual sandpaper focus today is Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

How are we sharpening each other? Are we helping each other in our walk toward the Lord –that is what we should be doing, but we often fall short. I don’t want to come off as preachy when I talk to my children about spiritual matters. Yet, sometimes I do. I send them videos of good sermons, Scripture verses, or encouragement. That helps in ways that are beneficial without me using a bunch of words.

Our job as parents is to aid our children. Our job as a husband or wife is to aid our spouse. The same goes if you are dating. We are to help and not antagonize each other.

Matthew 5:43-44:

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!’”

God commands us to love as He loves, which is difficult and sometimes impossible. That is why I have prayed, “Lord, I can not love this person right now, but I know you love them; please bless them abundantly.”

MOST OF THE ANIMOSITY WAS LIFTED whenever I prayed this prayer or something similar. Sometimes it took years, but the Lord was victorious in teaching me to forgive.

Why should we love even when people hurt us? Even when we are chafed, annoyed, or persecuted? Because the Lord asks it of us. I love how Jesus explains the main purpose of this command to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us in Matthew 5 verse 47, he says:

“If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.”

Do we want to be compared to pagans? Of course not; as believers, we want to do better than those without belief or those who believe in false gods. And that is our challenge today or this week. It is three-fold.

  1. First, to be aware of situations where we are sandpaper – that is, abrasive to others without cause. (Not sure there is ever a cause to be abrasive!)
  2. Be aware of situations where others have been abrasive to us, and we harbor unforgiveness. Remember the Lord’s prayer.
  3. Look at the spiritual sandpaper in our lives as a good thing, one that will help us to grow spiritually.

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