above only devotional Don’t View Challenges as Punishment From God SUNDAY OCT. 7

Don’t View Challenges as Punishment From God
OCT. 7

James 1:2-5 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

 Author PhotoOne disadvantage of choosing to view your challenges as punishment from God is that it will hinder your ability to come boldly to Him to receive His wisdom and strength to go through and overcome those challenges. God doesn’t use challenges to chastise us. Rather, He uses His Word to chastise us. In Rev 3:19-20 (NKJV) Jesus said,“ As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

This verse reveals that Jesus rebukes and chastens us by speaking to our hearts. Clearly, Jesus did not bring sickness or certain hardships on the Laodicean church because of their negative attitudes. This is because Jesus has already taken all our punishment on Himself. The truth is that we sometimes suffer the negative consequences of our own decisions and actions because we ignore God’s voice and leading.

Some challenges are tests of our faith to build us and position us for God’s purpose (such as with Joseph and Paul), but others are a direct result of our ignorance. There are some that are a direct ploy from the devil to torment and afflict us. We must trust God for discernment to know why we are going through certain challenges so that we can be strong, learn or resist the devil where necessary. God wants us to be assured that He is always on our side and that He wants to strengthen us, teach us and help us overcome our challenges. He doesn’t want to use them to punish us or to teach us a painful lesson. He is love.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I receive Your wisdom and grace to maintain the right perspective of my challenges and to overcome them.

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