Charles Stanley –Profiting From Pain

 

Romans 5:1-5

We have so many blessings for which to be grateful. And greatest of all is our salvation, because it’s the “hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). Someday we’ll step out of this life into the marvelous glories of heaven, which we can’t even imagine at present. But we can joyfully thank God for such an amazing prospect. It’s the hope that helps us endure all the hardships we face on earth.

However, Paul mentions another cause for exultation: our tribulations (Rom. 5:3). People rarely think of suffering as profitable and see no reason to rejoice, but God promises to use it for good. Oftentimes adversity results in spiritual growth. In times of pain, the façade we typically display is withdrawn to expose who we truly are. As our security or comfort is shaken, our true priorities, spiritual crutches, pride, and self-reliant ways are revealed. God may use the opportunity to strip away everything we depend on until nothing competes with Jesus’ reign in our life.

The Lord prioritizes spiritual growth over ease and comfort, and He knows how to develop perseverance and proven character within us. We may be tempted to fight or cry for a way out of hardship, but that gains us nothing in the end. Yet we can profit from pain by accepting the Father’s work in times of difficulty, knowing that He is shaping us into the image of His Son.

Instead of focusing on the pain or loss, turn your trials into a cause for hope. According to 2 Corinthians 4:17, “Momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” That’s why we can exult in our tribulations.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 23-25

 

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Our Daily Bread — Acts of Kindness

 

Bible in a Year:Leviticus 19–20; Matthew 27:51–66

[Tabitha] was always doing good and helping the poor.

Acts 9:36

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Acts 9:32-42

“Estera, you got a present from our friend Helen!” my mom told me when she got home from work. Growing up we didn’t have much, so receiving a present in the mail was like a second Christmas. I felt loved, remembered, and valued by God through this wonderful woman.

The poor widows Tabitha (Dorcas) made clothes for must have felt the same way. She was a disciple of Jesus living in Joppa who was well known in the community for her acts of kindness. She was “always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36). Then she got sick and passed away. At the time, Peter was visiting a nearby city, so two believers went after him and begged him to come to Joppa.

When Peter arrived, the widows Tabitha had helped showed him the evidence of her kindness—“the robes and other clothing that [she] had made” (v. 39). We don’t know if they asked him to intervene, but led by the Holy Spirit Peter prayed and God brought her back to life! The result of God’s kindness was that “this became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord” (v. 42).

As we’re kind to those around us, may they turn their thoughts to God and feel valued by Him.

By Estera Pirosca Escobar

Today’s Reflection

Dear Lord, help me to follow You and show kindness to those around me, so they can see You in me.

Learn more about caring for hurting people at christianuniversity.org/CC205.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Tear Down Your Walls with Faith

 

For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: “It is Zion, for whom no one cares!” — Jeremiah 30:17

Adapted from the resource New Day New You – by Joyce Meyer

To avoid pain, some of us build walls around ourselves so we will not get hurt, but that is pointless. God has shown me that it is impossible to live in this world if we are not willing to get hurt. People are not perfect; therefore they hurt and disappoint us, just as we hurt and disappoint others.

I have a wonderful husband, but occasionally he has hurt me. Because I came from such a painful background, the moment that kind of thing happened, I used to put up walls to protect myself. After all, I reasoned, no one can hurt me if I don’t let anyone get close to me.

However, I learned that if I wall others out, I also wall myself in. The Lord has shown me that He wants to be my protector, but He cannot do that if I am busy trying to protect myself. He has not promised that I will never get hurt, but He has promised to heal me if I come to Him rather than try to take care of everything myself.

If you build walls around yourself out of fear, then you must tear them down out of faith. Go to Jesus with each old wound and receive His healing grace. When someone hurts you, take that new wound to Jesus. Do not let it fester. Take it to the Lord and be willing to handle it His way and not your own.

Receive this scripture as a personal promise from the Lord to you, For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: “It is Zion, for whom no one cares!” (Jeremiah 30:17).

With the help of the Lord, you can survive hurt and disappointment and find your completion “in Him.”

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for being my Protector. Help me to live today and every day in freedom—not putting up walls out of fear, but embracing the relationships in my life, knowing You will help me and heal me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Saved From Our Troubles

 

“This poor man cried to the Lord — and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles” (Psalm 34:6).

It was a high-security penitentiary — filled with murderers, drug pushers, bank robbers and others who had committed major crimes and many who would never see the light of day again outside those bleak, gray prison walls. At an evangelistic service, however, one inmate after another stood to share how Christ had forgiven him of his sins and how, even though he had committed murder or some other serious crime, he knew with assurance that he was now a child of God.

Many of these men expressed in different words, as I sat there listening with tears streaming down my cheeks, “I am so glad I’m in prison, for it was here I found Jesus Christ, and I would rather be in prison with Christ in my heart than to be living in a palatial mansion without any knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness through His Son.”

Often I talk with people – on planes, on campuses, at public meetings – who are poor, not only materially but also physically and spiritually. What a joy to be able to share with them the good news that God cares.

A “poor man’s” first cry must be one of repentance and confession, so that a divine relationship is established: Father and son. Conversion must come by the Spirit of God, before deliverance can come in the less important areas of one’s life.

But after the Father-son relationship has been established, how wonderful to be able to assure such a one that God truly cares – enough to “save him out of his troubles.” Oftentimes that entails enduring such troubles for a time, but never more than we are able to bear. The supernatural life promises victory – in the midst of adversity.

Bible Reading:2 Corinthians 5:14-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will assure people whom I encounter today who are in trouble that God cares and promises deliverance. There is nothing more important that I could do for another person than to help him know Christ, so I will seek out those who are in need of a Savior so that they, too, can experience the liberating power of God’s love through Jesus Christ.

 

http://www.cru.org