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Triumph Out of Tragedy

God’s purpose for our lives involves more than our physical ease. It also involves our spiritual development. His aim is not primarily that we be comfortable on earth but that we be conformed to the image of his dear Son in heaven (Romans 8:29).

To this end God uses even the troubles of life for our good. What are some of the good things that can come out of the bad experiences of life?

1. Troubles can develop patience in us. Patience is the ability to stand up to the pressures of life without going to pieces or going to the tranquilizer bottle. It is the strength of character to live life victoriously instead of being defeated by it.

2. Troubles can teach us the true values of life. Our values so easily get out of perspective. Troubles and sufferings more than anything else teach us what is really of value in life.

3. Troubles keep us humble. Difficulties knock a lot of nonsense out of us and teach us our own weaknesses and our need of God. They keep us from becoming proud and self-sufficient.

4. Troubles can lead us to repentance. They make us aware of our waywardness and bring us back to God when we drift away from him. The psalmist once wrote, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept thy word” (Psalm 119:67). Many of us can say the same thing.

5. Troubles can lead us to glorify God. Many sickbeds become a pulpit from which people witness to the sufficiency of the Lord in their lives.

6. Trouble can make us more sympathetic to other people. It can tender our hearts and make us more understanding of other people. Someone has said, “You can’t sharpen an ax on a pound of butter.” Trouble is often the whetstone of life. God uses it to sharpen us and to make us more effective cutting instruments for him.

The troubles of life do not defeat or frustrate the purposes of God. He is able to bring triumph out of tragedy. Keep believing that and expecting that. God will not disappoint you.

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Applied Christianity

I once talked with a man who was convinced that Christianity was a failure. His conclusion was based on the fact that while our cities are full of churches and preachers, our world is getting worse and worse.

If you think about this criticism, you must agree that there is much religion in America that has little effect on the daily lives of people. While the number of church members may grow each year, so does lawlessness and immorality. But does this mean that Christianity is a failure? No. At the close of World War I a soap manufacturer, walking down the street with his pastor, was bemoaning the “failure” of Christianity. He said to his pastor, “After 19 centuries of preaching and teaching Christ, there is still so much evil in the world. I don’t see how you can go on preaching the Gospel.” 

“I don’t see how you can go on manufacturing soap,” retorted the pastor. “Look at the little urchin playing in the gutter. Neck and ears filthy. There’s still so much dirt in the world. Soap is such a failure.”

“But,” countered the soap manufacturer, “If people will just apply the soap, they’ll be clean.”

“Yes,” concluded the pastor, “and if men will but apply Christ to their daily living, they will also be clean.” 

The evil of today’s world is not due to Christianity’s failure, but to our failure to apply our Christianity. As writer G.K. Chesterton said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried."

Attend church Sunday, listen to God’s word, then apply it to your daily life and you and the world will both be better because of it.

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