Jesus said we’d have problems (John 16:33). Nobody gets a free pass. Solve one problem and another’s waiting to take its place. They’re not all big, but they’re all necessary to your spiritual growth. How do you measure the strength of anything? By testing it! Listen: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Pet. 4:12-13).

David wrote: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Ps. 34:18). Your most life-changing experiences will often come during your darkest days–when your heart’s broken, you feel abandoned, you’re out of options, your pain levels are through the roof, and you turn to God. That’s when you learn to pray heart-felt, honest-to-God prayers. When you’re in pain you don’t have the energy for superficial ones.

God could have kept Joseph out of jail, Daniel out of the lions’ den, Jeremiah out of the slimy pit and Paul from being shipwrecked, but He didn’t. And the result? Everyone of them was drawn closer to God–and impacted their world!

Our problems force us to look to God and depend on Him, instead of ourselves. This is especially hard on super-achievers like Paul. Listen: “Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9). You’ll never know that God’s all you need, until God’s all you’ve got!

So today, place all your needs into His capable, loving, hands and watch what happens.

Skyline church of Christ
Auburn, CA
BULLETIN DIGEST (May 2005)

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