John 11:1-44 Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe (John 11:14-15).
Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 to see how Paul experienced God’s provision as he faced a problem.
How can your present challenge be an opportunity? Keep a journal of the trial you’re enduring. Take careful notes so you have a record of how God sustained you through this dark period.
A cave-in left 33 men trapped deep underground in a copper and gold mine in northern Chile. The men battled despair during the initial hours, when dust from the collapse choked their lungs and cloaked the mine in darkness. They barely hung on over the next 17 days as they prayed for someone to find them. And when they finally were pulled through a new shaft to daylight—69 days after their ordeal began—their triumph was all the sweeter for the depth of the challenge they had overcome.
No one goes looking for trouble. No one wants to be addicted to alcohol or drugs. No one enjoys being unemployed, with too little money to both pay the rent and feed the kids. No one asks God for over-bearing in-laws, back-stabbing friends, or disease.
But some of these will happen to most of us. When they do, we can choose to complain like Martha, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). Or we can see that our obstacle is a thinly veiled opportunity. As Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:21-23).
Problems are necessary to display God’s power. If we never get sick, we won’t know that our God heals. If we’re never broke, we won’t know that our God provides. And if we never die, we won’t know that our God raises the dead.
What’s your problem? Have you been unfairly maligned or abused? You have the privilege of discovering the freedom of forgiveness. Are you battling addiction? You have the opportunity to experience the power of Christ. Out of money? You get to see just how much your heavenly Father loves you.
Your problem isn’t the end. If you’re with Jesus, it’s the beginning of a life- changing opportunity.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Kings 1:5-27
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