A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

Andy Hollifield 6-1-18
Here is an interesting thought for you; the words “diamond” and “coal” are each used four times in the bible. The number four in the bible speaks of “all that is created.” Why is that important? Simply because of where diamonds come from meaning how they’re formed. A diamond is carbon dioxide buried 100 miles into the center of the earth, heated to 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, squeezed under 725,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, and then quickly rushed to the earths surface to cool. The carbon forms coal which is believed to be formed from decomposing organic plant matter. Before we move on; the significance of the number four in the bible is there are 4 seasons, 4 directions (N,S,E,W,) 4 phases of the moon, and 4 watches of the day and night. In Daniel, the king saw 4 men loose, unhurt, and walking around in the fiery furnace and David had 4 stones left after he killed Goliath, presumably for Goliath’s 4 brothers which all were killed by David’s men.
Now that I am in way over my head, I will get back to the title. “A diamond in the rough” is simply an idiom used to describe a person of great or admirable character and qualities but lacking social graces. The reason I explained so much in the first paragraph is because it is important to understand the process. There is another saying I like that says “a diamond is a chunk of coal that made good under pressure.” Think about that for a minute. An ordinary chunk of coal that is primarily used for fuel, that came from dying plants, winds up being one of the most precious stones on earth. A plant had to die so that coal could be formed and due to intense heat and pressure, be transformed into a beautiful, shiny, solid, durable, and highly valued possession. Are you starting to see the point yet?
A lot of times when difficult circumstances come into our lives, we seem to complain and act like God has abandoned us. To make matters worse, the devil comes along, when we are already down and disillusioned, and tells us that if God really did love us he wouldn’t let those circumstances come upon us. The fact is that God doesn’t owe us anything. Besides that, all rough circumstances are not due to our sin just as all blessings certainly aren’t due to our goodness. Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” Peter addresses this in 1 Peter 5:7-9 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” God is not picking on us or punishing us all the time with bad circumstances.
With all of that being said, there are times when God puts us on the potter’s wheel to mold us into what he wants us to be (Jeremiah 18:4). That is a good illustration, but the forming of a diamond is also really good. We were dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1) just as those dying plants in our illustration. Then it seems we just get deeper and deeper and the heat and the pressure just continually increase with all of the circumstances we find ourselves in. Sometimes it is such a weight that it seems we will break under the pressure. And even though the heat of the situation may be uncomfortable remember this; fire purifies. In those circumstances we beg God to take us out of, the heat of those battles is burning out the impurities in our lives. Those are the things that make us pure. The potter can never have a durable vessel that is fit for anything until he first puts it in the fire. I am sure that even now, if we look back at our lives, we can see in a lot of those pressure-filled times. Those were the times that we really learned to put our trust in the Lord. The times that made us durable and able to weather future storms. Then when the pressure is off and we make our way to the top again and things cool off for us, we will shine a little brighter and as a Christian, we gradually become a showpiece or a trophy of God’s grace. That rock hard stone that is durable, reliable, and of great value to the Lord. I know that we are of great value to him because Jesus gave his life to get us. One day we will shoot up to heaven and out of the heat and pressure of the world. When we get there, we will then be put on display for all the angels to see, a bride of unsurpassed beauty.
You may think you are just a chunk of coal and worthless and only fit to burn up but Jesus thought better of you. You’re gonna be a diamond someday. You might be a diamond in the rough right now but God isn’t finished with you yet. He is just refining you and making you pure in the fire and the pressure you may be facing. He’s cutting you and polishing you and getting rid of the rough edges. You will be a chunk of coal that made good under pressure. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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