I was around a lot of construction people when we were building our Ministry Headquarters, and there’s nothing that means more to a tradesman than his tools. The good old hammer is your basic, fundamental tool. And the capabilities of a hammer literally run the gamut. I’ve seen men make things with a hammer. But, then again, I’ve seen men break things with a hammer, too!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “Getting Hammered.”
Hammers have the same effects on people that they do on things. Not the kind of hammer that builders use; I’m talking about the difficulties of life that hammer us. Just as an object cannot remain the same when it gets a hammer applied to it, you can’t remain the same when you’re being hit by one of life’s hammers.
If it is one of those times when you’re feeling pretty pounded, pretty beaten on, well our word for today from the Word of God may help you at least see it from God’s perspective. 1 Peter 1:6 addresses the reality that “you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” Then verse 7 reveals one big reason why God sends or allows those trials. It says, “These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine, and may result in praise, and glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
The incredibly hot temperature of the gold refiner’s fire isn’t to melt the gold or destroy the gold. It’s to burn away the junk, and that increases the value of the gold. Now if the trying time you’re going through is actually one of God’s hammers, you need to know this isn’t to break you down. It’s to make you more pure, more valuable, and more usable than ever before. God’s hammer is to build you into something better, not to tear you apart.
But whether or not God’s hammer makes you or breaks you isn’t really up to God. That part’s up to you and how you respond when you’re being hammered. Remember, no one can get hit with one of life’s hammers and remain the same. It will change you. How it changes you is up to you. Getting hammered will make you either harder than you were before or softer than ever. 1 Corinthians 1:4 says that God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
If you surrender the hammering and the hurt to God, He will recycle it into a sensitivity and a compassion in you that will make you one of His great wounded healers. You can be an agent of healing in a hurting world because you know what the hurt feels like. But if you hang onto the hurt, that hammering will destroy you as bitterness and resentment start to poison and harden your heart.
This hammering will either leave you closer to God than ever before or farther from God. You choose. Because Job chose to hang onto God’s hand even when what God was doing seemed to make no sense, he could say that as a result of his trials, “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You” (Job 42:5).
If you turn to God in the hard time rather than from God, you will experience His love and His power as never before and see Him bigger than you ever saw Him.
You have one other choice when you’re getting hammered – will it make you more about yourself or more about others? The natural tendency is to go into survival mode and be “all about me.” But that will sink you emotionally as you turn inward on yourself. But if you make yourself reach out to others in need when you’re struggling yourself, it’s going to have a wonderful healing effect.
If you’re being hammered, make the choice that will make you better, not bitter; a softer heart, not a harder one; getting closer to God, not farther away; focusing on others, not on yourself. Many beautiful things were built with a hammer. Would you let your life be one of them?