Tuesday, December 26, 2017

"Challenge? Opportunity!"

"Challenge?  Opportunity!"

    Spiritual mindedness involves seeing challenges as opportunities.  

    "But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble" (Psalm 37:39).

    To know "the power that worketh in us," namely, the power of God, we must experience circumstances, situations, and conditions that motivate us to consciously seek our Lord's enabling (Ephesians 3:20).  The challenges of life in our present earthly existence help us to see our great need for God's presence, involvement, and working on our behalf.  The world, the devil, and the flesh tempt us to believe we can make our way by our own devices.  The Word of God, however, declares that "the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23).  Without challenge, we would all ignore or forget the plainly-stated Scriptural declaration of how dependent we are on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Indeed, He told His disciples, "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).  Apart from Christ and our realized requirement for His enabling, we rely on illusions of our own abilities, as based upon the original devilish temptation, "Ye shall be as gods" (Genesis 3:5).  No we won't, but we can live as if we are self sufficient creators rather than utterly dependent creatures so needy of Divine grace that "in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).

    Great opportunity lies in troubles both great and small.  Our Lord beckons us to therein know the power that is "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).  Without challenge, we wouldn't avail ourselves of such grace, even as the Psalmist confessed: "Before I was afflicted, I went astray" (Psalm 119:67).  Thankfully, our brother of old proceeded to also confess, "But now have I kept Thy Word."   Challenge, understood and perceived as opportunity to trust God, provides an altar whereupon we sacrifice the darkness of self sufficiency with the bright light of God's faithful promises, and our faith therein.  How little we would know of Him apart from pain, difficulty, and the perplexity that directs our gaze away from ourselves and unto the Life of our lives and the Hope of our hearts…

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."
(Psalm 121:1-2)

Weekly Memory Verse
     For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

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