My husband, Joe, and I have been dealing with some persistent and frustrating problems with our dishwasher. We have had six repairmen come to our house to date, and we have a seventh scheduled to come next week. We have called the manufacturer twice, and we have done everything we know to do, all the while praying for God's help in the matter, and thanking Him that our appliance is still under warranty, so all of these service visits have not cost us a penny.
As I was lamenting to the Lord about these problems, He led me to His words to the prophet Jeremiah when he was doing some lamenting of his own to the Lord. "If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5 NIV) I knew the Lord was basically telling me, "If you are letting these passing inconveniences and annoyances unnerve you, how are you going to handle it when you have real trials and troubles come against you?"
There's no question that God cares about all of our problems - including the trivial ones. But if you and I are easily sidetracked by the irritations and annoyances of daily life, then our usefulness to the Lord is going to be extremely limited. The more God promotes us, the more resistance we will meet from Satan and his kingdom of darkness. If we are not "strong in the Lord" through a life devoted to prayer, worship, and Scripture study, or we are not continually wearing "the full armor of God," we will never fulfill our God-given purpose or potential. (Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV)
As followers of Christ, you and I are filled with Holy Spirit power to do difficult things with an ease and a confidence that worldly people will never know. When we are in a challenging situation and we begin to lose our peace, that's a sign that we have stopped leaning on God, and we have begun operating in our own strength. And it's our cue to get alone with the Lord to seriously seek Him and His wisdom.
Proverbs says, "If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!" (Proverbs 24:10 NIV) Let's make a habit of relying on God's strength, so that we never need to falter when trouble comes our way!
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to draw continually on Your strength through prayer, Scripture study, and worship. When I am tempted to operate in my own strength, convict and correct me so that I don't become weary and worn out. Thank You that as I look to You for divine enablement and direction, I will be able to handle all kinds of trouble with confidence and composure!
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