TGIF Today God Is First by Os Hillman
"Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing." Acts 9:8aWhen God calls one of His servants into service, there is often much travail. There are many examples where God makes His presence known through circumstances that tax the individual to his very soul.
Consider Paul, who was stricken blind on the Damascus road.
Consider Peter; when he denied Jesus after the crucifixion, he was in total despair.
Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were thrown into the fiery furnace.
Consider Daniel, who was thrown into the lions' den.
Consider David, who was forced to flee his former employer for many years and lived as a fugitive.
It may seem strange to us that God uses such incredible adversity to prepare His servants for greater service, but this is God's way. God knows that the human heart is incapable of voluntarily stepping into situations that take us beyond our comfort zone. He intentionally brings us into hard places to prove us and to drive us deeper into the soil of His grace.
In arid regions of the world, trees cannot survive unless their roots grow deeper to where the water table can be found. Once they reach the water, these trees become stronger than any tree that can be found in tropical climates. Their root systems ensure that they can withstand any storm. In the same way, God brings us into extremely difficult situations in order to prove His power and drive our spiritual roots deeper.
Friend, God may take you through times when you will question His love for you. In such times, you must cling to His coattail so that you see His purposes in it. Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For in just a very little while, 'He who is coming will come and will not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him'" (Hebrews 10:36-38).
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