“And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature,
and in favor with God and men.”

Luke 2:52, NAS

When an athlete takes a hard hit, we say, “He was hammered!” However, we actually grow through God’s hammering. When the Word says that “Jesus kept increasing” in various attributes, the word in the original language means to lengthen by hammering, picturing a blacksmith stressing a piece of metal with a hammer. Jesus was tempered by His Heavenly Father with these tools:

The hammer of obscurity. For thirty years (except when He was twelve), Jesus’ heavenly power was veiled. An arrow is just as sharp though it may be in the quiver. God knows your heart. He is hammering out your pride during times in the desert and in the carpenter’s shop.

The hammer of waiting. Each day Jesus would go to the shop and back home. At twelve, perhaps He asked, “Father, do You want Me to preach to youth groups?” “No.”

At twenty-five, He may have inquired, “Father, Levites become priests at twenty-five; how about now?” “No, be still and know that I am God.”

At age thirty? “Now?” “Now!”

We complain about inactivity, illness or injury, but it may be God’s hammering. These words hung over a friend’s desk in seminary: “Beware of the barrenness of the busy life.”

The hammer of solitude. Jesus spent many hours in the hills communing with His Father. The noise of music, people and parties may keep us from facing God. We need time of parentheses and commas as well as exclamation points. The Lord may be using years of preparation for minutes or months of maximum fruit.

QUESTION: What are the hammers that God is using in your life? What is He preparing you for?