Do you find yourself praying about the same struggles day after day and week after week … sometimes year after year. Maybe you’ve, actually, stopped praying about it, because you’re sure God is tired of hearing it.
Or have you been tempted to think … I give up! I’ve tried to stop or I’ve asked God to take this away. Maybe He just isn’t listening!
1 Samuel 12 & 13
When Still Fighting the Same Struggle
Redeemer of Our Failures
Have you ever felt you let God down by something you did or failed to do? You told Him, you would never do such and such again, but a day or two or three later … there you are again. You may feel like Peter when the rooster crowed and He realized Jesus was looking right at him (Lk. 22.34, 60-61)!
Do you find yourself praying about the same struggles day after day and week after week … sometimes year after year. Maybe you’ve stopped praying about it, because you’re sure God is tired of hearing it.
Or have you been tempted to think … I give up! I’ve tried or I’ve asked God to take this away. Maybe He just isn’t listening!
It’s a struggle many of us have experienced.
But, while He won’t obey for us, God is listening. He has given us His Word as our sword of the Spirit (Lk. 4.4, 8, 12). He has set us free from the power of sin (Rom. 6.6). He has given us His Holy Spirit who empowers us to do what God has called us to do (Phil. 4.13). He has set us in the body of Christ where we can seek out support and accountability (Jas. 5.16).
We must, in turn, choose to fill our hearts and minds with His truth (Eph. 5.18; Rom. 8.5), to believe His promises, to burn those bridges that keep us ties to our sin (unwise friendships, going places where we’re tempted to sin, etc.), and to obey, even in the little things.
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (Heb. 5.14).
Spiritual maturity comes as we “practice” doing what’s right day in and day out.
But the good news is that while He expects us to be growing (Eph. 4.14-15), God knows we won’t do this perfectly.
Peter was devastated by his betrayal, but remember what Jesus had told him:
“I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (22.32).
Jesus knows we will fail, too, sometimes miserably! But He’s able to use our failures for good. Our God is a Redeemer of failures!
Step out in faith today. Let God redeem your failures. Trust God. He is big enough to handle ANY problem and to see you through any struggle.
Today’s Other Readings:
1 Samuel 12 & 13:
The Testing of Your Faith
Saul is hardly out of the starting blocks and he’s already doing what seems right to him (1 Sam. 13.5-14).
The Philistines had lined up to do battle with him and his army. Consequently many of the men had fled. But Samuel had instructed Saul to wait for him. Seven days passed and no Samuel, because God was testing Saul. Instead of continuing to wait, Saul decided to usurp the priestly role and offer his own sacrifice.
13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you” (1 Sam. 13.13-14).
God’s tests are never intended to tempt us to fail, but to strengthen us and mature us.
James 1.2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (NIV).
In what situation is God asking you to “wait,” not as a means to discourage you, but to grow you and to reveal Himself to you in a greater way?
The Size of Our God
Verse 11, “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Proverbs 29.25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”
Too often we worry about what someone else will think or do or how they might cause us some harm or trouble. Yet, we give very little thought to what God thinks and neglect placing our complete trust in Him.
That was Saul’s problem. He was more concerned about what the men around him were doing, whether or not they might leave, and about what they thought. He saw them as his strength. Men were big in his mind and God was small. As believers, when we face problems, we are not to look at the size of the problem, but at the size of our God!
A Fitting Reply
Verse 23, “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!” (NIV).
As we grow in our understanding of God’s Word, it is not only a blessing to see God speak to our hearts, but it also brings joy when He brings to our minds just the right word to speak to someone else who is hurting!
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