Monday, July 15, 2013

Why we need difficulty

You may not like what I'm about to say but it's true.  We need trials, adversity, difficulty in order to be useful to God.  Let me explain myself.  When things are going your way how often do you think, "Wow, I've got this under control God.  You sit this one out.  I will let you know when I need you again."  We don't go to Him unless we have struggles.  It keeps us close to God.

2 Corinthians 12:7
even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

The apostle Paul a man who God miraculously converted and writer of 2/3 of the New Testament even needed it.  The verse above tells it all.  He needed a thorn(trial, affliction, ailment, etc) in order to remain humble and therefore used by God.  God doesn't need you to have gifts, talents and abilities but He will use them.  What God wants is for us to realize that He's the one doing the work, giving the gifts, the talents, and the blessings.

Let's keep reading about this thorn and Paul.

8For this thing I sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me

We may be going through a really tough battle but know that God's grace is enough.  He is our strength.  Our lives are not meant to be lived like we did it all and God just happened to show up to take credit for it.  God created the world in which we live as stated in Genesis and the Bible teaches that He formed us in our mother's womb.  So if He's done all that and it's obvious we can't do the things He does...shouldn't we listen to Him and except what He wants to do.

So often we just go to God and say I want, Lord I need, give me this, help me with that...but we don't realize that if we don't go through difficulty and His perfect divine timing we won't learn anything.  What if you got a million dollars today?  But because you have always been bad with money you just blow right through it.  You are left angry, bitter and broke.  On the other hand what if God gave you poverty for years upon years of your life.  A financial situation so bad that you have to scrape, pray and trust God for every penny.  Then later in life God provides a million dollars do you think you would appreciate it and have a better knowledge of how to use that money?

We need to go through things in order to be more useful to God.  He needs to teach us that we need Him!  What good is a life if we don't know how to use it?  If we use it for our glory we have missed the point.  It's for God's glory that we go through things!

God knows what He is doing and He hears your prayers.  You have to put your faith in Him and know He is your strength. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Giving thanks for the Trials!!!

We have all been through trials.  We have had difficult days and plenty of things that we just don't want to go through(an illness, relationship issues, family issues, work issues and on and on).  What does God do through  those issues and what does He want us to do as well go through them?  Let's find out!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Wait a minute!  So God wants us to thank Him no matter what is going on?  Yes, He does.  In many situations He wants to know will we do what He wants and with what attitude?  

Colossians 3:17

New International Version (NIV)

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

So whatever we do we need to be giving thanks!  Not just when that job promotion comes, or when that healing happens in your body, but IN ALL THINGS!

2 Thessalonians 1:4

New International Version (NIV)

Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

It's during these trials that God works in us!  Through these tough times God is growing us in our faith and teaching or perseverance!  Just because you became a believer in Jesus Christ and accepted His forgiveness doesn't many that everyday will be puppies and rainbows.  He expects us to grow!

 1 Peter 1:7
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Romans 5:3
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

In this battle we are proving our faith and bringing glory and honor to God.  We must persevere!  You may think it's crazy but we should be praising God we are going through this!  It is refining us and bringing glory to Him!

Proverbs 17:3
New International Version (©2011)
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.

God needs to know He can count on you to live for Him not just on those easy carefree days but also when a relationship is broken, we a doctor gives you the report it's cancer, when the car is broken or a job ends and you don't know how you are going to make it.  He's there!  He's providing!  He's healing!  You are not alone!

1 Corinthians 6:19
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

 Hebrews 13:5
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"

Trust God and thank Him for the situations He has put you in!  He is right there dwelling in you and He will never leave or forsake you!  God knows what He is doing, so trust Him and thank Him!  God is in control!

So each day as we get up let us not complain about or situations, trials, and pain but thank Him that we have another day to grow closer to Him and be more like Him.  Let us trust Him that no matter what He is doing what is best for us and bringing glory to Him.