Wednesday, June 21, 2006

your struggle...your answer

Sometimes your struggle in life could be the answer to your prayer! I realize that a lot I am going through now is because I have been praying for wisdom, patience and humility. Below is a list of ways God could be improving your life through your struggle:

We pray for patience, and our Father sends us demanding people who test us to the limit, because... Suffering produces perseverance" (Romans 5:3).
We pray for a submissive Spirit, and God sends suffering again, for we learn to be obedient in the same way Christ did, "learned obedience from what he suffered" (Hebrews 5 :8)
We pray to be unselfish, and God gives us opportunities to sacrifice by placing other people's needs first and by laying down our lives for other believers.
We pray for strength and humility, and "a messenger of satan" (2 Corinthians 12:7), comes to humiliate us.
We pray to the Lord, just like the apostles did saying, Increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5). Then when our money seems to take wings and fly away; our children become critically ill; an employee becomes careless, slow, and wasteful; or some other new trial comes upon us, requiring more faith than we have ever needed before.
We often pray for a Christ like life that exhibits the humility of a lamb. Then when we are asked to perform some lowly task, or we are unjustly accused and given no opportunity to explain, for "he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and...did not open his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
We pray for gentleness and quickly face a storm of temptation to be harsh and irritable.
We pray for quietness and suddenly every nerve is stressed to its limit with tremendous tension so that we may learn that when He sends His peace, no one can disturb it.
We pray for love of others, and God sends unique suffering by sending people our way who are difficult to love and who say things that get on our nerves and tear at our heart. He does this because 'love is patient, love is kind...It is not rude, it is not easily angered...It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 7-8).
Yes, we pray to be like Jesus, and God's answer is: "I have tested you in the furnace of affliction" (Isaiah 48:10); "Will your courage endure or your hands be strong?" (Ezek. 22:14); "Can you drink the cup?" (Matt. 20:22). The way to peace and victory is to accept every circumstance and every trial as being straight from the hand of our loving Father; to live "with him in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 2:6), above the clouds, in the very presence of His throne; and to look down from glory on our circumstances as being lovingly and divinely appointed or selected.

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