Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Do I Really Need This?

"Do I really need one more thing, God?" This was the cry of a woman I spoke with in the hallway at church on Sunday. So many things were happening in her life, that she felt overwhelmed. Now, another blow to her stamina and endurance had fallen, and she was ready to give up. She told me she had been praying but things would not stop piling up and she was feeling weak in her faith.

Her question echoed in my mind as she continued to lament about the difficult trials she was facing. I have asked God the same question many times: "Why do these things keep happening, just when I am regaining my confidence and getting stronger in my faith? Do I really need one more problem right now?" My story involves many medical interventions, some of which caused me more problems than I had before. In these times, I have asked the Lord, "Really, God? I was only trying to make it better, and now my problem is worse. Am I not sanctified enough? Do I really need one more thing added to all that I am already suffering? I do not understand."

The Bible says that the Lord knows all my needs, and He knows about them before I do. In Matthew 6:8, Jesus warns his followers not to be like the pagans and hypocrites, who babble and repeat themselves in their public prayers. He tells them, "...your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." Think about that. Your Father knows your needs before you do. Look back on the trials of your life that increased your faith and drew you nearer to the Father. Did you think at the time that you needed those trials? No, you probably didn't want them, and you certainly did not think of them as something you needed! But because of those trials, you grew in your walk with Him, and you are now able to encourage others who may be suffering as you did. You needed those times of difficulty.

What are you going through today? Whatever it is, you can be sure that you need it. It is intended to make you more like your Savior, and isn't this to be our goal as believers? First John 2:6 in the New Living Translation says, "Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did." And how did He live? He faced trial upon trial upon trial, trusting God, walking in obedience to Him, and encouraging others to do the same. We become more like Him when we ask not whether we really need one more trial, but how we can respond to the ones He has ordained for us in a more Christlike, God-glorifying way.  Remember Romans 8:28: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." Never doubt that if you are going through a trial, you need it, God will use it for your good, and He will be glorified. Hallelujah!