Life Lesson 37: Despite our best efforts, discouragement is inevitable. But having a relationship with Jesus Christ…
Like a Clay in the Potter’s Hand
Life Lesson 38: I must remain pliable in God's hands so that He can shape me into the woman He designed me to be.
“Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.”— Jeremiah 18:5-6 NLT
If you are like me, you personalize Scriptures to grasp their practical application to your life. Imagine you were Jeremiah and the Lord told you to go down to the potter’s house, and you observed as Jeremiah did, how pliable the clay was in the potter’s hands. In the same way, we can be flexible in God’s hands. If we humbly surrender our lives to the Lord, He can develope us into the men and women He created us to be. Since God is the Author and Finisher of our lives, He knows the beginning from the end. Therefore, if we are willing, He can redirect our lives when it appears to be going in the wrong direction.
Before I accepted Christ as Lord of my life, I did as I thought was right in my own eyes. Like every human being, I am flawed without Jesus and can do nothing to save myself from sin. Praise be to God for Jesus, who is my Potter, and I am the clay in His hand. My desire now is for Him to mold and shape me into His likeness and the person He formed me to be. If you have never trusted Jesus as the Lord of your life, it can be hard to surrender fully to Him. Even as believers, we often struggle with letting go and allowing the One who knows us best to work in our lives. The truth is, God has complete authority to direct our paths. As long as you are living in His presence, you can rest assured that He has you in the palm of His hand. He has the awesome power to reshape and transform your life as seems best in His sight.
As I think about the clay being disfigured in the potter’s hands, I picture a child of God being resistant or disobedient to His will. He is willing to alter our lives so that it glorifies His Son. As followers of Jesus, we have the awesome assurance that God can construct our lives better than we ever could. His wisdom in your life and mine is far greater than we could ever conceive. He gave each of us gifts, talents, and abilities that fit perfectly with His divine plan.
In another passage of Scripture, the Lord God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV). Let this Scripture settle in your heart. Meditate on it for a while. Imagine, before you were born, God set you apart and sanctified you for His purpose. We are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good things He planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:10, NLT). The idea that the Lord knew me before my parents even thought of me, is astounding to me. It gives me great confidence and trust knowing that God is in control of my life. There is no need for me to be concerned about my future. I rest in the palm of His hands. Through His sovereign purpose, God chose you and me, not based on human merits, but solely out of love. What an amazing God we have!
One of my favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11, which says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This Scripture is so powerful and so profound. Every time I read it, I’m reminded that God has a plan and a purpose for my life beyond what I can imagine. Because God’s plans for us are good, we can trust Him to perfect us into the sons and daughters He desires us to be. I am learning that His plans are not weighty because He has already equipped you and me to do exactly what He appointed us to do. Scripture assures us that “Even before he made the world, God loves us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT). Keep in mind that holiness is not about absolute perfection. It is about being separated or set apart from what is sinful. None of us can make ourselves perfect. However, we have a Potter who knows our frame and has the power to transform us into His perfect masterpiece. The reason believers in Jesus Christ share in His holiness is that we are set apart for the Master’s use, to fulfill His divine purpose.
When you are tempted to doubt God or feel discouraged about the circumstances of your life, remember God’s message to Jeremiah, “Like the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…” Let us humbly surrender to our Creator so He can transform us as seems best to Him.
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” — Isaiah 64:8 NIV
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