October 12 

Advancing Through Adversity
Ephesians 3:14-21

One noteworthy trait of the apostle Paul was his determination to advance through adversity. There are many people who get stuck in life's hard spots. They are either too scared or too bitter to move through the hardship.
Instead, these folks wait for the Lord to remove the trial, but He doesn't always work that way.

How a person responds to hardship reveals his or her true character. Hard times are when God's people most need to match actions to words. It's easy to say, "I trust God" or "My Lord is faithful," particularly when life is good. But unless we recognize that He is sovereign even in adversity, the same lips will complain and seek pity. Believers who trust in the Lord's faithfulness and supremacy will steadfastly focus on Him and thereby keep their anxiety and doubt subdued.

In order to conquer adversity, we must begin moving through it. It is essential for a suffering believer to surrender to God's will. We may not know what His purpose is. We certainly won't like the pain, and we'll definitely want the situation to change—fast. But giving the Lord free rein allows Him to mature our faith, conform us to the likeness of His Son, and fulfill His unique plan for our lives.

Surrendering does not seem like a way to advance anywhere. But in reality, we're just handing over the controls to God and saying, "You guide me where You want me to go." Doing so requires a lot of trust. We serve a Lord who is worthy of our faith and confidence.

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Some days it seems as if a spirit of anger is permeating the entire world. News stories of violence, road rage, and international discord fill the airwaves. If that were not enough, our families are also being torn apart by unresolved conflicts. Where do we turn for peace in this angry world? 
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