Employers in varied occupations require employees to furnish tools of their trade. Carpenters don tool belts equipped with hammers, screwdrivers, measuring tape, levels and assorted tools. Those operating heavy equipment from-forklifts-to-dozers wear hardhats and safety glasses. The tools of the trade are not only necessary but beneficial as well.
Trying circumstances serve as tools of the trade for disciples. In time, we trade in the tools of the trade for tools of testimony. Paul learned the lesson well. “Now I want you to rest assured, brothers, that those things which have befallen me have actually resulted in the progress of the good news (Philippians 1:12 Williams New Testament).” Am I making progress?