The discipline of difficulty
The devotional entry for today from Oswald Chambers is based on John 16:33. It is very challenging and it goes against the current of popular Christianity. Read at your own risk.
An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different...
God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a commonsense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986).
Lord Jesus, give us a hunger for life that is really life. Cause our appetites to be adjusted to your spiritual diet. Help us to see that you know what your doing and that you have everything under control. Enable us to trust you through the storms of life. Reorient our thinking so that our first response is to run to you rather than question you when things don't go the way we think that they should. Thank you for your patient care and superintendence in our lives at all times. Amen!