Irritations that Bring Glory to God

James 3:18 "Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." NKJV

Have you ever been irritated? Or should I rephrase this question and ask: have you ever had a day without any irritations? Wouldn't we be very patient if we had no irritations?

Like taxes, they are constantly with us. What helps me though is to know that I am not in charge of my day. God is! God's prophets were quite aware of that and are set as examples of patience: James 5:10-11 "Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord." NIV

It is true that God would like for us to use our time wisely, but He is more concerned with qualities that make us more Christ like! Rom 13:14 "Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts)." AMP

One of His best ways to train us is through the adjustment of our daily irritations. Whenever we are irritated, we have 3 choices:

a. Do nothing. So what?

B. Be upset and even get mad about it.

C. Use the irritation to give glory to God. (1 Cor 10:31-32 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." NIV

Our best example concerning irritations is the oyster. A small irritant enters its dwelling. If the oyster had a choice, it may well spew it out. The result: no pearl! However by using this irritant to the glory of God, the oyster turns that irritant into a beautiful pearl. Wow!

I have the same choice when facing irritations. What choice will I make? Doing nothing, will not make them disappear from my life. Being upset by them will turn me into a discontented sour puss. However, if I decide to use the irritation to give glory to God, I will honour my God and attract people to Jesus, who is the reason why I can handle these irritations to the glory of God. What choice would you make if you were in my shoes?

Let me use an illustration of an irritant that was used to God's glory.

There is a beetle that feeds on cotton plants, both in its larval stage, as well as in its adult form. It's name: the boll weevil. In the 1860 it had prevented the growth of cotton in Mexico. By 1893 it had started to infest Texan cotton. By 1910 the state of Alabama was in uproar: Sooner or later they would be next to the devastation of the boll weevil, as their main plantations consisted of cotton.

However, there was a scientist in Alabama who was God fearing. His name was George Washington Carver. He discovered the properties of the peanut plant and started promoting its cultivation, as he discovered that peanuts could be used in a variety of useful ways, and no boll weevil was ever interested in peanut plants. Instead of being upset with the irritation of the boll weevil like most farmers were, he praised God for the boll weevil as people started to become aware of the usefulness of the peanut plant.

The result? Most farmers continued farming the cotton plant and were devastated by the damages done by the boll weevil. These are the farmers who were upset and blamed the government for doing nothing to help their case. However, several farmers especially from the Coffee county, listened to George Washington Carver and started peanut plantations. Those are the farmers who were prospering! No complaints could be heard by them! In fact they were thankful for the boll weevil, as they never would have tried another plantation like the peanut plant otherwise.

Irritations... They will always be in our life. We have to decide how to react towards them. What choice will you make? I know what choice I want to make. Let us welcome them into our life and turn these irritants into beautiful pearls to the glory of God!

Rob Chaffart

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