Jul 21, 2017
Life stretches you.
Three words that combine into a common saying—easily rolled off the tongue in precise moments of reflection—which belie the pain threading them together. Experience grows. Empathy increases. Wisdom...comes. But, to the one on the rack crying out for it to stop.
It is a common saying for common circumstances. Until the pain is yours. Then it is unique to you.
If circumstances in your life are stretching you beyond your ability to cope, be encouraged that God has not left you alone. He does not desire suffering or defeat for you. In fact, He has always designed a path to victory for those who trust Him.
When God created the earth and its universe, He did so with man on His mind. Everything spoken into existence was particular to the needs of and for man’s life and pleasure. God specifically designed the world to run from the words He uttered so that He needn’t re-create the world everyday. Having established the perfect environment, He made man and declared him sovereign over the creation. Man wasn’t treading water on day one or gasping for oxygen on day two. God had a plan.
He still has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “ ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (NIV)
Takeaway #1. God is not the problem. He is the answer.
The important thing is God provided for our success from the beginning. He didn’t ask us to do something that He hadn’t provided the means for us to accomplish it. Life is hard, and if you are a Christian, you are living in enemy territory. But Jesus said to cheer up because God’s Kingdom is at hand, close by ready to help. If you’re not a Christian, God’s Kingdom is close by, ready to help. Acts 2:21 states that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is a continuation of God’s promise in the Old Testament (Psalm 50:15 is one example) to call on Him and He will answer.
Takeaway #2. Knowing what God’s Kingdom offers requires knowing God.
Knowing about God and knowing God enough to love Him are two different things. Embrace this challenge staring you down as the doorway to a new way of life. Take charge of your circumstances by taking the time to read the Bible and applying what it says to you.
Takeaway #3. Your attitude toward challenges will determine your success or failure.
I like the advertisement for the Marines: pain is weakness leaving the body. Let the word strengthen you for life and its...moments. “Just believe,” Jesus said to Jairus, and Jairus’ daughter was raised from the dead. Anything is possible with God. (Matthew 19:26) Not knowing what God is about hinders our ability to receive what we need.
Here is a verse that you can pray and speak aloud over yourself: I am being filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9 paraphrased)
Image by Tim Mossholder courtesy of StockSnapi.o
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