Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TRIAL (05/10/18)
TITLE: Intricacies of Adversity
By Elaine Hemingway
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Did Gideon triumph in the resultant series of events? No, not personally, but through him, the Lord showed His Presence in the troubles the Israelites were experiencing. From 32,000 men called only 300 were chosen to follow Gideon into battle, with the Lord proving infinitely and abundantly more than Gideon could have imagined.
Have you, like Gideon, ever said to God ‘If you --- --- then I will …’?
Have you ever questioned God, wondering if He knew what was at stake? Have you expected God to give you an easy way out of an adversity? Have you asked Him to do something miraculous and then wondered why He didn’t oblige? Have you asked Him to get you out of sticky situation, but then handled things your way?
If your answer has been yes to any of those questions, you are not alone. As we learn to grow in faith we test our Lord in many ways. It is often only with hindsight that we see how He has met our needs or even done over and above what we asked, but in His way, not ours.
Gideon learnt that he could be God’s instrument but could not take the glory for releasing the Israelites from their bitter trials.
I have learnt that there are some points to be considered when dealing with our own trials.
1. The Lord has a plan for us, a plan to make us into the likeness of his son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Embedded into this is His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 that He is wanting to give us hope and a future. That is because He has begun a good work in us, starting at our salvation, and will continue. He doesn’t give up on us.
2. When we are going through difficult times it is as well to remember that we look at our problems in the light of the here and now whereas God is in the business of eternity and He is preparing us for that. Sometimes He allows us to go through adversities knowing us intimately and knowing what is needed to make us more Christ-like in our Spiritual walk. He also knows how much we can take under His equipping and guidance. Philippians 4:13
3. In this age of instant gratification and the mantras of ‘just do it’ and ‘it’s our right’ we need to be able to show the world that we are different. We can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us and that includes endurance. Long-suffering and the other fruits of the Spirit follow. Galatians 5:22,23
4. Dealing with grief cannot be treated lightly and is a particular trial that can temporarily slay our personal spirituality. Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus, even knowing what was about to happen. But the Lord keeps our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8 NLT. You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.)
No matter what trial you are undergoing now, search the Word, for God promises to uphold every word He has spoken. (Isaiah 55:10, 11. NIV)
‘As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.’
Hold on, fellow sufferer, God holds the end of your rope!
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