Life At Its Best: Give God your challenges
July 22, 2011 at 2:22 a.m.
By Jim Graff
We all know that life is a series of choices. And eventually, we find that consequences result from those choices. While today, some of us are reaping consequences we enjoy, many of us are reaping some we can barely endure. So, how do we persevere through the painful results of our past to turn a sad story into a testimony? By letting go and giving God total control of every part of our life - in the good times, as well as the bad.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 12 says, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. death is at work in us, but life is at work in you." In tough times, it's vital that we refrain from adopting a hopeless mentality. It's like forfeiting before you even play the game. 1 John 4:4 says that ". the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Our God has more power to heal us than the enemy has power to harm us, so we can face our struggles with confidence.
There was a man who lived during the Depression named Mr. Yates. Before the stock market crashed, God impressed upon him to buy a certain sheep farm. As soon as the Depression hit, Mr. Yates began to grow discouraged. Thoughts of fear and anxiety flooded his mind. He asked God, "How am I supposed to keep this farm? I can't even afford the mortgage." God's answer was simple: "Trust me."
Not long after his conversation with God, Mr. Yates received a call from a man wanting to check for oil on his farm. He agreed, and the first time they drilled, they found 80,000 gallons of oil. Thirty years later, they were still pumping 130,000 gallons of oil from the farm every day. Needless to say, God took care of him. And God wants to take care of you. In His wisdom, He has the ability to do things beyond what you can understand, but like Mr. Yates, you must trust Him completely. I promise, He won't leave you in the dark. He will fulfill His promises.
So, let me ask you a question: Who is in control of your life? And I'm not referring to who's in control in the good times; I'm talking about in the midst of adversity, when it's time to make those future-defining decisions. Is it you? Is it domineering people trying to force their own will? Is it a negative emotion such as fear, anxiety or defeat? If your answer is anything other than God, I encourage you to make a change. In your struggles, remain faithful to God, and He will remain faithful to you.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com.