One of the saddest sections of all scripture is when God’s word tells us: “Then the sons of the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” We’ve reached the book of Judges in our chronological march through the bible. Joshua dies and God’s people believe they know what’s best in that they gradually drift into darkness again and again. God raises up Judges to lead them back into the light of God’s fellowship. Think, for just a second as to how the Israelites must have felt when being oppressed by those to whom God sent to chastise them. Can’t you hear the cries? “Why should we be treated like this?” “How could God allow this nation to overtake God’s very own people?” Could it be that the chastisement the Israelites felt was the result of God looking out after their own best interest? Couldn’t the same be said of us today? The typical view of the Christian life is our desire of being delivered from all adversity. In reality, it actually means being delivered IN adversity, which is something entirely different. Just because we’ve pledged our lives to Christ doesn’t mean we won’t incur hardship. Jesus reminds His disciples: “In the world you WILL have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I’ve overcome the world” John 16:33. Remember, Christian, God doesn’t give us overcoming life—He gives us life as we overcome! The strain of life is what builds our strength. No strain = no strength. It shouldn’t surprise us: the only way to become stronger physically is to exercise our bodies (sometimes even to the point of exhaustion). The same is true of the spiritual life. When you continually give of yourself spiritually, you will receive more strength! Remember, God never wastes a hurt and there’s never an instance of pain He can’t use to His glory and our benefit.
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you!
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.