Daily Archives: July 6, 2022

The Gift of Difficulty

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The Gift of Difficulty

The Gift of a Difficulty

 

Fabiola Rojas Perez – Digital Media Assistant – CBN Costa Rica and CBN Latino, cbn.com

A few days ago, I reviewed viewer messages to Superlibro through our social media platforms. As is very common, people often write to us looking for a comforting word of encouragement or prayer. However, this time, I came across a note that deeply touched my heart, and I felt compelled to stop my work and pray to the Lord.

Heartbroken and confused, I expressed my question to the Lord, “How can it be possible that there are brothers in Christ going through such difficult situations?” I remained silent until God brought to my mind the words of Paul and Barnabas to the disciples of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch:

“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

So, I opened my Bible and read the entire chapter. The Disciple Luke recounts the persecution facing Paul and Barnabas because they preached the gospel. However, in the last verses, he emphasizes that despite these difficulties, they must continue with their mission to train and exhort the disciples of Jesus and persevere in their faith despite trials. God used this story from His Word to bring conviction to my heart and teach me that He uses difficulties to make His work evident in us and prepare us for the day our Lord Jesus returns. After learning this valuable lesson, I responded to the writer to encourage her to persevere in her faith journey, to take notice of the Lord working in her life – even in painful situations – and I shared with her about the gift of difficulty.

Many Christians have been taught that tribulations are not for God’s children, failing to realize the significant place suffering has as part of God’s plan to use our lives. On the contrary, suffering is a gift that builds our character and requires us to rely on Him, which ultimately glorifies Jesus!

It is typical for these situations to confuse us for a moment, and we even demand answers as Job did with the Lord (Job 13:3). However, this gift does not escape God’s will, but rather what makes it even more beautiful is that He promised to be right there with us in every difficult process we face. The shadow of His wings is the best place to understand that He is sovereign and governs everything that happens in our lives, and this is our hope in times of trouble.

If you are also facing a difficult time, I invite you to pray and ask God for direction so that you can understand what He is forming in your character through your difficult circumstances. And, as David says in Psalm 57:1,

“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”

Rest in His sovereignty and take heart amid pain because He is faithful in perfecting you until the day of His return.

Today’s Devotions

Morning

July 6

2 Kings 5:10-12 10Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” 11But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

Naaman was a great commander in the army of the king of Aram. He had contracted some type of skin disease. His wife’s servant was a young girl from Israel. The young girl spoke of a prophet that could cure Naaman. With the king’s permission, he journeyed to Israel to be cured. The king of Israel thought it was a ploy to have reason for the king of Aram to go to war with Israel. Elisha sent word that the king of Israel need not worry. He asked that Naaman be sent to him so that Naaman would know there was a prophet in Israel. God was pursuing Naaman by means of his affliction. If Naaman believed Jehovah’s prophet could cure, then he would believe in Jehovah.

Naaman had other issues to be dealt with, namely his pride. Instead of going out to meet this esteemed commander, Elisha just sent a messenger. God’s direction for healing was humbling. The Jordan is dirty and mucky. Pride sent Naaman into a rage at this simple request, but his servants calmed him down and helped him to humble himself. After the seventh dip Naaman came up with skin like a young boy’s. He had a conversion experience. His outward cleansing caused him to trust in God for an inward cleansing. He took soil back from Israel so that upon it he could worship the God that he now knew to be the one true God.

The biggest miracle was not that his skin was cleansed but that his heart was changed. God pursues all people with the desire to see them know Him. Will we humble ourselves and let Him do a miracle in our lives, or demand that He meet our expectations?

Consider: Humble yourself in the sight of the LORD and He will lift you up.

Spurgeon at the New Park Street Chapel

By: Charles Spurgeon

Christ exalted

“This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” Hebrews 10:12,13

Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 22:12-21

Many of us are expecting that Christ will come; we cannot tell you when, we believe it to be folly to pretend to guess the time, but we are expecting that even in our life the Son of God will appear, and we know that when he shall appear he will tread his foes beneath his feet, and reign from pole to pole, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. Not long shall antichrist sit on her seven hills; not long shall the false prophet delude his millions; not long shall idol gods mock their worshippers with eyes that cannot see, and hands that cannot handle, and ears that cannot hear—“Lo! He comes, with clouds descending;” In the winds I see his chariot wheels; I know that he approaches, and when he approaches he “breaks the bow and cuts the spear in sunder, and burns the chariot in the fire;” and Christ Jesus shall then be king over the whole world. He is king now, virtually; but he is to have another kingdom; I cannot see how it is to be a spiritual one, for that is come already; he is as much king spiritually now as he ever will be in his Church, although his kingdom will assuredly be very extensive; but the kingdom that is to come, I take it, will be something even greater than the spiritual kingdom; it will be a visible kingdom of Christ on earth. Then kings must bow their necks before his feet; then at his throne the tribes of earth shall bend; then the rich and mighty, the merchants of Tyre, and the travellers where gold is found, shall bring their spices and myrrh before him, and lay their gold and gems at his feet;

“Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.”

For meditation: You may, or may not, agree with some of the detail of Spurgeon’s understanding of the Second Coming. But do you share his spirit of enthusiasm and readiness, or are you too much in love with the present world (2 Timothy 4:8-10)?

The Fruit of Wisdom

From: InTouch ministries

Choosing God’s wisdom brings His peace to challenging circumstances and relationships.

James 3:13-18

The world claims to know the path to a successful and rewarding life: ambition, education, wealth, public recognition, power, and influence. But human wisdom is foolishness in God’s eyes (1 Corinthians 3:19). While it may feel risky to set aside our own reasoning, the benefits of walking in God’s wisdom are great.

Divine wisdom could be defined as seeing life from the Lord’s perspective and responding accordingly in reliance on His strength. Then we are able to stand firm in our faith and choose His way. If we are to graciously submit to the hardships God allows, it is essential that we have His viewpoint (James 1:2-4).

Wisdom is especially needed in our relationships. If we act out of bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, then we are operating with worldly wisdom, and the results will be disorder, animosity, and conflicts. In contrast, God’s wisdom is pure, peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, merciful, and genuine (James 3:14-17). When our responses reflect these qualities, we’ll reap righteousness along with peace in our relationships.

What do your interactions with others reveal about your source of wisdom? Are you growing more Christlike or following worldly ways?

Bible in One Year: Psalms 139-144