Saturday, March 2, 2019

Piece by Piece - Martin Wiles

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NLT

One by one, I thumbed through them all, wondering how I would do all they required.

The first two days of college overwhelmed me. On Monday, I’d receive the syllabi for my three-hour classes, and on Tuesday, the syllabi for my two-hour classes. On Tuesday night, I’d peruse them all, look at the papers I’d have to write, and then list them in order by their due dates. As a Type A personality, I could only function and avoid stress by facing my projects this way.

I had my first paper completed long before the due date. Then I’d start on the next. When my classmates discovered how quickly I had papers finished, they gave me puzzled expressions. I had to face the projects piece by piece, not wait until the last minute to get them done. Doing so helped me keep my sanity and normally resulted in a better grade.

Paul faced his share of trials and persecutions as he fulfilled God’s mandate to take the gospel to the Gentile world. His confidence that Christ accompanied him and gave him strength kept him going and sparked his confidence.

Regardless of whether we call them trials, problems, or opportunities, God ultimately engineers them. Even what Satan brings, God allows. But none of them are designed to overwhelm us—and they won’t if we take them piece by piece.

Often God sends trials to stretch our faith. He desires that our faith move beyond its original expression when we trusted Him as our Savior. Saving faith is wonderful, but He wants maturing faith. And trials have a way of doing this when we respond to them correctly.

Trials prepare us for what God has in our future. Moses needed patience to lead more than one million people through the wilderness. Spending forty years on the backside of a desert did the trick.

We can only successfully face trials piece by piece when we understand our strength and ultimate victory lies in Christ. None of us is strong enough to handle all life throws our way. We’ll make a mess every time. But with God’s wisdom and the strength of His Spirit, we can take them one by one and watch as God grows us into the masterpieces He’s working on.

Don’t let trials set you back. Take them one by one in God’s strength.

Prayer: Father, we depend on You to give us power and grace to endure what You send into our lives. 

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