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from the Billy Graham Library

Wit & Wisdom – Shaped by the Father

October 7, 2014


Psalm 139:13 is a verse that many recall as they encounter someone who has doubts about their purpose and calling, or is just generally struggling with life. It’s a reminder that we were made by a Father that loves us no more and no less regardless of our own shortcomings.

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Yet, through trials and tribulations God can rebuild the broken through their faith in Him.

Both, Ruth and Billy addressed this brokenness through anecdotes from their lives in the devotions below. May this serve to encourage you or someone you know today.

restore me Lord


Salvaged, and Restored

And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10

He had built for himself a great house that was a thing to behold. It was a masterpiece of salvaged materials.

He collected and sold scrap metal as well as antiques, and he was fascinated with broken bits and pieces of china dug from his front yard. Carefully he fitted and glued the pieces together. Few objects ever came out whole. They were simply the collection of one who cared.

I expressed an interest in his work, and he gave me a blue-and-white plate that had been carefully glued together, despite pieces that were missing.

I commented, “You remind me of God.”

I knew from the look on his face that I had shocked him, and I hurried to explain: “God takes our broken lives and lovingly pieces them together again. Even if a piece has been lost, God gathers what He can and restores us to wholeness in Him.”

from More Letters from Ruth’s Attic by Ruth Bell Graham


Praying in Persecution

But I say to you [Jesus said], love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 5:44

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, had some commandments for us with regard to our attitude toward persecution. We are to:

1.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad (Matthew 5:12)

2.  Love our enemies (5:44)

3.  Bless them that curse us (5:44)

4.  Do good to them that hate us (5:44)

5.  Pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us (5:44)

I have a friend who lost his job, a fortune, his wife, and his home. But he tenaciously held to his faith – the only thing that he had left. One day he stopped to watch some men doing stonework on a huge church. One of them was chiseling a triangular piece of stone.

“What are you going to do with that? asked my friend.

The workman said, “See that little opening away up there neat the spire? Well, I’m shaping this down here so it will fit in up there.”

Tears filled my friend’s eyes as he walked away, for it seemed that God had spoken through the workman to explain the ordeal through which he was passing, “I’m shaping you down here so you’ll fit in up there.”

After you have “suffered a while, make you perfect . . . settle you,” echo the words from the Bible.

The persecuted for “righteousness’ sake” are happy because they are identified with Christ. The enmity of the world is tangible proof that we are on the right side, that we are identified with our blessed Lord. He said that our stand for Him would arouse the wrath of the world. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

PRAYER: Our Father and our God, You created me with Your own hands. And You know me better than I know myself. Shape me, Lord, so that I can fit into heaven some day. Knock off my rough edges. Chisel away my faults and failures. Refine me with fire to purify and make me valuable to You. In Christ. Amen.

from Unto the Hills by Billy Graham