Friday, June 03, 2016

Growing Via Challenges

Memory Verse: "These are the nations that the LORD left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle." (Judg.3:1-2, NLT)

Scripture Reading: Judg.3:1-31.

How normal it can seem to associate success with victory and achievement. To reward those who excel, while withholding praise for those who fall short. Yet some have realized that we must face situations where success is difficult, and even impossible; if growth (maturity) is our goal. That, in fact, "the most valuable problems may be the ones that appear unsolvable."

In my growing up days (I am still growing), I discovered that I never really "failed at anything." The disadvantage of this was that I did not know how to cope with problems- problems were strange to me at the time. So God began to allow me face situations with no clear solutions and challenges that appeared impossible to get out of.

Life [with permission from God] has hurled complex problems at my little self where I had only minimal resources to fight, and in some certain instances, I am given tight deadlines to deliver. The beautiful part is that God assesses and grades us not by our ability to solve problems but how well we communicate and approach the challenges. 

The goal is simple: to prepare us for our life's assignment, called destiny. To help us develop determination and resilience in the face of fear, failure and frustration. And ofcourse, learn the value of humility (I really had to learn humility). And praise God, I testify that I appreciate challenges because they have helped me to grow towards God.

In our Scripture Reading today, we see God applying similar principles when the Israelites entered the Promised Land. He intentionally let them face opposition. He knew that each generation needed to face challenges, to learn how to make decisions, and to realize why they needed to depend on Him.

In the same way, we confront these principles in many ways. We are wise if we learn from others and history. But God still often allows us to face challenges ourselves that we might gain experience. Deal with temptation and trials, [outright] rejection and failure. Realize the fullness of His truth, and personally grow in our knowledge of Him.

Therefore, I say to you, don't be discouraged if you face problems. God has not abandoned you; He is preparing you for where He is taking you to and also equipping you for the assignment He's called you to handle. Keep praying. Keep applying the principles from His word. Keep trusting Him. And most importantly, *learn* what He is teaching you.

Ponder Point: Good timbers does not grow with ease: the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees, the more the storm, the more the strength of the tree.

Action Point: Grow deep; stand tall.

Prayer Point: Father, I thank You for trusting me with trouble. Thank You for Your wisdom to handle situations and confront challenges as they come. Thank You for direction. I believe You for the answers and help I need in Jesus name, Amen.

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