James 1:2–4

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 dig deeper as the hammer’s head pounds and pounds.

But if the nail had feelings and intelligence, it would give us a different opinion. To the nail, the hammer is a brutal, relentless master who exists to beat it into submission. That 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 pounding. Let the nail simply remember that it and the hammer are held by the same workman...and its resentment will fade. It will yield to the carpenter without complaint.

Heartaches and disappointments are like the hammer. They come in all shapes and in every size: an unfulfilled romance, a lingering illness and untimely death, an unachieved goal in life, a fractured marriage, a severed friendship, a wayward and rebellious child, a personal medical report that advises “immediate surgery,” a failing grade at school, a depression that simply won’t go away, an addiction you can’t break on your own.

Perhaps you need fresh perspective today:

When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing (James 1:2–4).

As difficult as it may be for you to believe this today, the Master knows what He’s doing. Your Saviour knows your breaking point. The bruising and the crushing and the melting process is designed to reshape you, not ruin you. Take time to read that again.

It will help you if you will thank your Master for any trials and all the heartaches in this season of your life. Express your gratitude for what He is teaching you in the crucible of the hammer.


Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord ... Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright ©2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.