#10 of 10 Steps to Meeting Your Challenge
#10 Thank God for the challenge, and use it for His glory.
What?? Yes, we must thank Him.
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Sometimes the challenges we face in this life are just uncomfortable, and other times they’re painful! No matter which, or where in between, if we belong to God, He’s always there in the middle of the challenge. It’s up to us whether or not we acknowledge His presence.
Somehow, in His sovereignty and grace, He asks us to give Him thanks. He also gives us the ability to do so, despite our humanity.
Even when we don’t feel like it, and we aren’t sure we really mean it, we are to give thanks. We can choose to look into His face with trust and thanksgiving, knowing that the confinement of the hedge we’re in is good, and it’s for His glory. And that He is there holding our hand through it all.
Looking around us to see those less fortunate helps us to give thanks.
This reminds me of a little mission we assisted with outside of Rioverde, here in Mexico. The women brought their children to an empty lot where a local pastor gives a Bible study every Saturday. It was a cold, winter day, and the wind was almost unbearable! This woman (on the right in the photo) had no coat… a challenge I’ve never experienced. The Lord nudged me to give her my coat. I did, and to her surprise, I told her to take it home with her at the end of the event. Sometimes our challenges are nothing compared to those of other people.
Despite the our circumstances, we can choose to rest in God’s goodness, believing that He has all things in His control, our our best interests in mind. He knows our what is best for us much better than we do, because He knows the future! He’s the guy with the map! He knows everything, because He created it!
As missionaries here in Mexico, we lead Bible studies and try to encourage people here to trust God in their circumstances. It’s interesting to me that they ask for prayer for things like health and family members, rather than a bigger house, or a car so they won’t have to walk. Their trusting God for their challenges looks very different from my trusting God for mine.
Regardless of where we live, or what our challenges are, we must trust in God deeply and without reservation. We must choose to fully trust, pray, and praise!
We find strength by having this perspective.
And guess what?
Our circumstances may not change.
Let’s face it… with all the faith, prayer, naming it, and claiming it we can muster, God may choose not to change it.
You’ve seen this. You’ve experienced this, and so have I. As much as we may try, we can’t control Him. God doesn’t exist for us, remember? As mentioned in previous posts in this series, we exist for God. (Colossians 1:16-18)
Somehow, in “His ways that aren’t our ways”, that means we are loved. We are infinitely cared for, in ways that we can’t even understand.
God may not choose to change our circumstances, but instead, He may be changing us. For our good, and for His glory. (thoughts from Charles Swindoll)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
We must let God use our story to help others!
The best way to help others is to let them see us trusting God deeply!