We will experience difficulties that help us grow

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, March 19, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

For first-century Christians, suffering was the rule rather than the exception. Paul tells us that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome. This means we will experience difficulties that help us grow. We rejoice in suffering, not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know God is using life’s difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build our character. The problems that we run into will develop our perseverance—which in turn will strengthen our character, deepen our trust in God, and give us greater confidence about the future. You probably find your patience tested in some way every day. Thank God for these opportunities to grow, and deal with them in his strength (see also James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7 [* below]).

We were weak and helpless because we could do nothing on our own to save ourselves. Someone had to come and rescue us. Christ came at exactly the right time in history—according to God’s own schedule. God controls all history, and he controlled the timing, method, and events surrounding Jesus’ death. (NLT)

Romans 5:1-6 – Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

* We can’t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times. Ask him to help you solve your problems or to give you the strength to endure them. Then be patient, God will not leave you alone with your problems; he will stay close and help you grow. (NLT)

James 1:2-4 – Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

* As gold is heated, impurities float to the top and can be skimmed off. Steel is tempered or strengthened by heating it in fire. Likewise, our trials, struggles, and persecutions refine and strengthen our faith, making us useful to God. (NLT)

1 Peter 1:6-7 – So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.

These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Quoted verse: We . . . glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. –Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)

“Story” – Andrea Weaver (New Jersey, USA) titled her story “NEW FOCUS;” here is Andrea’s story:

“At age 26 and after years of graduate study, I was newly married and beginning my career. I was young, happy, and ambitious. Then after unexplained pain and months of uncertainty, I was diagnosed with a rare disorder. The disorder has become a lifelong combination of days of discomfort and remission. During the pain, I would worry that it would not go away, and when in remission I would worry about when it would come back. Though I was raised a Christian, I was not actively worshiping at the time of my diagnosis. And I dealt with my disorder with fear and uncertainty.

“Now at age 45, I am a practicing Christian. When I look back, I realize that this disorder has actually brought me joy by turning my focus to God and encouraging me to raise my two sons to have faith. I also have witnessed God’s grace through the medical professionals who have provided me with relief when and where I least expected it.

“This disorder has helped me to grow in my faith, showing me the ways God provides me with the support I need to endure so that I no longer live in constant fear. In turn, my growth in faith has shifted my focus away from my own discomfort and troubles and toward helping others.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God is my strength.

Prayer: Dear God, in times of discomfort, help us to see opportunities to grow in our faith. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS

To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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