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Standing Strong Through the Storm - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

GOD USES PROBLEMS AND PERSECUTION TO CORRECT YOU

"...It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.” Psalm 119:71-72 LB

Here is another of five ways God uses problems and persecution in your life: God uses problems and persecution to CORRECT you.

Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It is likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something—health, money, a relationship—by losing it.

John 17 clearly teaches that He does not desire to have His church in the comforts of a problem-free society. He desires for His church to be faithful in the midst of trials and testing.

During a recent visit to Indonesia, some co-workers had the joy of participating in an Open Doors Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS) seminar held in an area of intense conflict. The constant presence of armed soldiers outside the building confirmed that this seminar was far more than just a theology course—this was reality! More than seven hundred churches were already burned to the ground and the church was facing a severe onslaught.

On the second day of teaching, one pastor suddenly jumped up and with all his heart cried out: “My brother, please don’t teach us just to survive, teach us to be faithful.”

In understanding God’s purposes for the church it is vital to understand His requirements for us to remain faithful within these purposes. Faithfulness is not a request it is the duty of every believer. “Teach us to be faithful in the midst of our circumstances” should be a far greater priority in our prayers than that of making our society a safer place. Perseverance is far more important than transformation or preservation.

William Barclay said the following about praying for our circumstances. “When we pray for ourselves and others, we should not ask for the release from any task or situation, but strength to complete it and endure it. Prayer should be for power and seldom for release: not release but conquest must be the keynote of the church.”

RESPONSE: God is at work in my life—even when I do not recognize it or understand it. It is much easier and more profitable when I cooperate with Him. This is the way to victory!

PRAYER: Lord, teach us to be faithful in the midst of our circumstances.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.