We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. But we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18).
Jesus said we would have problems (John 16:33). Nobody gets a free pass. Solve one problem and another is waiting to take its place. They are not all big, but they are all necessary to our spiritual growth!
How do you measure the strength of anything? By testing it! Peter said, “Don’t be shocked that you are going through testing. It will prepare you?” (1 Peter 4:12-13 CEV). David wrote, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18 NLT). Your most life-changing experiences will often come during your darkest days when your heart is broken, you feel abandoned, you’re out of options or your pain levels are through the roof. And what do you do? You turn to God. It is those times 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? Every one 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 who said, “We saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, Who alone could save us” (2 Corinthians 1:9 TLB). You will never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got! So today, place all your needs into His capable, loving hands, and watch what happens.