I baked a cake this morning. First of all, I measured and combined all of the ingredients. The cake batter was a thin mixture that I poured into a pan. Then came the baking process in the oven. A change occurred while it was in the hot box. A baked cake holds it shape and stands alone. If it had not baked long enough before I took it from the oven, the middle of the cake would have settled because it was still doughy. Cake is not cake until it is baked.
Living life can be like baking a cake.
I combined flour, sugar, eggs and a few other ingredients to make the cake batter. God has certain ingredients for His recipe for life. Romans 5:3-5 states, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Perseverance, character and hope are a few of God’s ingredients. Similar to how I poured milk into my cake batter, God pours love into our lives.
Although not as sweet as sugar, perseverance is a life ingredient. However, perseverance can also be part of the baking process.
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you face trials of many kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Trials can put us in a hot box that feels like an oven. However, we are to persevere to become mature in our faith. As our faith matures, we will become like a baked cake. We will be able to stand up for our beliefs in God. We will not be lacking in anything. We will not fall in the middle like an under baked cake.
A few verses later, James 1:12 declares, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James mentions a test. Often I stick a toothpick in the middle of a baking cake to test if it is thoroughly baked and ready to come out of the oven. We may need to be tested to see if we are worthy of the crown of life the Lord has for us.
I Peter 4:12 says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” A test results in a testimony. When we go through fiery trials, we come out with a testimony. Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Galatians 6:9 NLT warns, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Like a cake that needs to be removed from the oven at the proper time, so will we overcome our difficult situation at the right time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” God knows the proper time for all things.
God is making something beautiful out of our lives. I Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God will not allow us to be burned to a crisp. Lysa Terkeurst writes in It’s Not Supposed to be This Way, “God doesn’t expect us to handle this, He wants us to hand this over to Him. God doesn’t want us to rely on our own strength. He wants us to rely totally on His strength.” Let us proclaim Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”
If I had not put my cake batter in the oven, I would not have created an edible delicacy. The dough had to bake in the oven. So it is for us when we are placed in the hot box of life. Romans 8:38-39 says, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Lord will always be with us while we are going through a baking and making process. In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes as the voice of Jesus saying, “I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to Me. Go through each day looking for what I have prepared for you. Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs. When you view your life this way, the most reasonable response is to be thankful. Do not reject any of my gifts; find Me in every situation.”
I want to highlight one more scripture that relates to perseverance. Hebrews 12:1 says, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,.” Whether it be baking a cake or walking through difficult situations in life, we are encouraged to persevere. We need to keep the proper perspective. God is not doing this to us, but He will use it for our good. We can persevere with the promise of God’s help.