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Life’s Filters

Many years ago someone made a statement that shocked me into transforming my prayer life. He said, “Even the wicked can pray when it’s easy.”

Until I heard that, I had been complaining about how hard prayer sometimes was. “If you really want us to spend time with you,” I said to God, “shouldn’t prayer time be the one time that is easy and free from Satan’s attack?” But this man’s statement made me realize that if prayer were easy, then anyone could do it.

Since then, I have come to believe that God uses hard times as a filter. Filters, of course, are used to remove impurities from the air and liquids. A good filtering system uses several filters that remove impurities in stages, starting with very coarse impurities and removing finer and finer impurities. God uses hard times to filter out those who do not really love him.

Anyone can pray when it is easy to do so. But who can pray when it is hard to do so? Those who really love God can, and they pass through the filter. Anyone can love those who love them back. But who can love their enemies? Those who really love God can, and they pass through the filter. Anyone can love God when times are good. But who can love God when times are bad? Those who really love God can, and they pass through the filter. Anyone can bless those who bless them. But who can bless those who curse them and spitefully use them? Those who really love God can, and they pass through the filter. Anyone can love those who praise them. But who can love those who nail them to a cross even though they did not deserve it? Those who really love God can, and they pass through the filter.

Those who successfully pass through all of the filters are, of course, the pure ones and they will stand before their Lord Jesus Christ and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

I hope to be one of those people.

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