February 22, 2023

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My wife and I were driving through a nearby town with some of our friends, and all of a sudden my wife says, "Stop!" She saw something, but what was it? Well, there was a gas station, there was a trash dumpster. She saw the top leaves of a plant sticking out of the dumpster. So we stopped and my friend who was driving got out with her. My wife said, "Hey! That would be great in our office." I said, "The dumpster?" She said, "No, the plant."

The next thing you know, my friend is pulling this enormous plant out; pot and all. And they came back to the car with it. I couldn't get out of there fast enough; I was so embarrassed. But today, I have to tell you, once that plant was all cleaned up, well yeah, it nicely decorated our office lunch area, and it made an otherwise drab corner (got to admit it) pretty nice.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Treasure In Life's Trash."

Our word for today from the Word of God is in 2 Corinthians 12, beginning at verse 7. Actually, what led me to it was this ability that my wife always had; where others saw trash, she saw treasure. It's happened many times in our neighborhood as we've driven past things that others have thrown away. Well, here's the difference that kind of perspective can make when you're going through the garbage in your life.

Paul says, "to keep me from becoming conceited, because of these surpassingly great revelations, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Well, one thing is clear about the thorn in the flesh, Paul didn't like it. It was garbage. Paul said, "If I didn't have it, I would have become conceited. I would have never tasted God's power like this, because I never would have needed Him so much." See, those who touch God's power most deeply are those who have needed Him most desperately.

Paul shows us how to look for God in life's garbage; for good in life's garbage. Though we don't get to choose whether we go through this painful time, we do get to choose what we focus on. If you belong to God through faith in Jesus Christ, there's always something beautiful in the ugly stuff or He wouldn't allow you to go through it.

Maybe this is a time for you to learn God's patience, or God's peace, or God's power. Maybe it's a time to let other people have the joy of serving you as you have served them. Maybe it's time to find out how much people love you; how much God loves you. Or to develop a new inner strength that you've never touched before. Maybe there are people who've never listened to what you have to say about your Jesus, but this might just get their attention. This hard time? Well, yeah, this might be the best opportunity, the best platform, you've ever had to show what a real difference Jesus makes, because He recycles garbage into something useful and beautiful.

You know, because of what you're going through, you have what I call "crudentials." You've got the credentials that come from the ugly stuff of life. And if they see that Jesus gives you a peace and a power and an endurance and a joy in the midst of that, you may never have a better opportunity to prove the reality of your Savior to people you care about.

I'll tell you what, my wife always amazed me! I mean, she'd look at trash. I'd see dirty, I'd see useless. She looked at that same garbage and saw the valuable things that could come from it. When it comes to life's garbage, that's what Jesus does. Maybe Satan sent it, maybe God allowed it, and you probably don't like it. But God can use it for something beautiful if you will just ask Him to show you the treasure in the garbage.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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