Victim - or victor?
For reading & meditation: Ephesians 1:11-23
"' the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might '" (vv.19-20, RSV)
Permit me to ask you: What will the obstacles and opposition you meet do to you today? Will they make you bitter, or will they make you better? The last word is not with them, but with you. If your own concerns and interests are well and truly "dead", and you are committed to pursuing God's purposes, then the issue is not so much what your circumstances will do to you, but what you will do to your circumstances. The Christian who understands this has the power to say to life - do your worst, I have the resources to take every negative and turn it into a positive. Nothing successfully opposes the believer whose life is hidden with Christ in God. Jesus once faced great opposition in His ministry: "They were filled with madness, and began to discuss with one another what they should do to Jesus" (Luke 6:11, Weymouth). Here was opposition in its most terrifying form. What did Jesus do? Listen again to the Weymouth translation: "About that time He went out ' into the hill country to pray" (v.12). Prayer, that powerful means of communicating with God and controlling, not so much the situation as the outcome of the situation, made Jesus, not a victim, but a victor. One of the major purposes of God seems to be that of producing character in His children. Not their ease, not their happiness - except as a by-product - but their character. And how is character produced? One way it is produced is through overcoming difficulties. So don't groan at the obstacles and opposition that face you today - grow in them. They help to sharpen your character - and your wits!
O God, forgive me that so often I cry to You for tasks equal to my powers. Help me to pray instead for power equal to my tasks. I ask this, not for my sake, but for Yours. Amen.
For further study:
1. What are we through Christ?
2. What should we be doing in life?
More in Every Day Light, with Selwyn Hughes
Every Day Light 5/14