“We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing.” 2 Corinthians 1: 8 – 10 (MSG)
If you’re dealing with extreme adversity in your life right now, it’s difficult to imagine how such suffering could ultimately produce advantageous results. Yet in the midst of trials, you develop skills to do things you would never dream possible. Also ~
- You learn more and grow closer to God during your darkest moments than you ever would from your shining triumphs.
Paul didn’t give details about the hardships he faced in the scripture above. Yet it was so bad he and his companions didn’t think they were going to make it. (Perhaps you can relate?) But he then describes this near-death experience as “the best thing that could have happened.” How can that be?!
- When you’re forced to exercise your “Faith Muscle,” your faith becomes stronger than ever. The stronger it gets, the more God can do through you.
If you’re at your wits’ end and can’t help yourself, you’re forced to trust God completely, Too often, we rely on our own ingenuity or abilities to maneuver out of situations, but in dire situations, we learn to lean on God.
- The best result of a seemingly hopeless situation is that you place your complete trust in the God who raises the dead! His strength is sufficient for any trial.
Do you face a seemingly hopeless situation today? Place it in God’s capable hands and watch Him work wonders!
Related Verse: Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 (NIV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“Look! I’m making everything new.
Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”
On the first day of a brand New Year, are you looking forward to closing the door on your past and opening the door to your future? Perhaps you are glad for the chance to breathe in the freshness of the new possibilities that the coming year might bring. Are there pages (or entire chapters?) that you would like to delete from your life’s story? “My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.” Ephesians 3:14 – 17 (MSG)
By opening the door of your life to Christ, He promises to bring about a glorious transformation inside of you, and you’ll be renewed from the inside out. There’s no better way to start out the new year than by accepting the gift of a fresh start with God. He alone can erase the pain of your past and the mistakes you’ve made along the way. You don’t have to spruce up for God or clean up your act before turning to Him. He meets you right where you are with His limitless love and grace. By inviting Christ to be the center of your life, He’ll be the compass guiding you along the path to your very best future.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12: 1-2 (MSG)
Now take a deep breath, close the door to your past, open the door to your best future, and step through to a new life with God!
- “In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9 (NCV)
- Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2(NIV)
“So the impossible is possible with God.”
Luke 1:37 (VOICE)
With God, nothing is impossible! What an encouraging, universal truth. Though the demands you face today may seem insurmountable in light of your own limitations and weaknesses, remind yourself that The God of All Possibilities is right beside you, as an ever-present help. He simply asks that you trust Him and stay connected to His limitless resources through each moment of the day. When anxiety invades your thoughts and you feel overwhelmed, turn your attention away from obstacles and difficulties and focus on His capabilities, rather than your inabilities. When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. Remember that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you could ever imagine or request in your wildest dreams.
If your life’s purposes and actions are directly aligned with God’s will, nothing can derail you. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, every moment of your day. Trust Him to illuminate each step of your journey and to equip you to handle any problems that come your way. It’s through your weaknesses that God displays His infinite strength, so His power working through you is an unstoppable combination!
- “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)
- “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
- “God is our shelter and our strength. When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. So why run and hide?” Psalm 46:1 (VOICE)
- “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
- “But he said to me, “My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So I am very happy to brag about how weak I am. Then Christ’s power can rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIRV)
- “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them,
because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4 (NKJV)
Do you realize that God’s Spirit lives in you, if you are a child of God? His Spirit is your constant companion. From the day you became a believer in Jesus Christ, He “set his seal of ownership on you, and put his Spirit in your heart as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:22 NIV) So as one of God’s children, you are “sealed” by the royal seal of the King of Glory ~ you are HIS, and nothing can break that bond! And even though you may not always feel His presence, the Spirit of God is always within you. He placed His Spirit in your heart as a security deposit, as a guarantee that He will fulfill all His promises to you.
“You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God Himself is present in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 (MSG) So if God Himself is present in you, you possess an unlimited supply of God’s power, protection, wisdom, discernment, guidance, and provision. His capabilities are immeasurable, unlimited and unsurpassed. You have nothing to fear because GREATER is He who is inside of you, than he who is in the world! Think about this: The Creator of the Universe indwells your heart! The very same might and power which raised Jesus from the dead is at work inside of His children. With Him, all things are possible.
So tap into the limitless power source within your heart. God’s Spirit will work through you to accomplish great things!
“Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power. Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that He used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven. There is nothing over Him.” Ephesians 1:19 – 20 (VOICE)
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” Ephesians 1:18(NIV)