Category: thoughts by Charles Stanley

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Read: 2 Chronicles 20:1-32 (see the bottom)


Problems are an inevitable part of life whether a person is saved or not.

The difference is that once a man or woman becomes a believer, the Father strengthens His child to face every difficulty.

Our omniscient and omnipotent God is greater than any problem. He knows our future circumstances and equips our heart and mind to withstand the coming trial. The moment we encounter a problem, we can turn to His omnipotence. He promised to meet believers’ needs and, therefore, is under His own divine obligation to give guidance and direction. Our first response should always be to call out “Father!” and pray. Immediately, two things take place: The problem’s growth is stunted, and God’s child is reminded of the unique position given those who trust in the sovereign Lord.

God always provides when we face problems. However, that doesn’t mean we should be sitting back and waiting for Him to work out the details. His provision may require an act of faith from us in order to reach a resolution. Experience and Scripture tell us that His solutions are always best, but human strength may falter when we hear what He asks of us in response to our prayers. Thankfully, He also offers the courage to act at the right moment.

Long before a crisis arises or a solution is needed, a wise believer will be seeking God in prayer. In trouble-free times, we can build a foundation of trust and communion with Him that can withstand any hardship. Problems are unavoidable, but as we seek our Father in prayer, He is faithful to deal with our difficulties.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission

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2 Chronicles 20:1-32

Jehoshaphat Defeats Moab and Ammon

1 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. 
2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 
3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 
4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. 
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard 
6 and said: “LORD, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 
7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 
8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 
9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ 
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 
11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 
12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 
13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD. 
14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. 
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 
16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 
17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ ” 
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. 
19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. 
20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 
21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” 
22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 
23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 
24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 
25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 
26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day. 
27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 
28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lyres and trumpets. 
29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. 
30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

The End of Jehoshaphat’s Reign

31 So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 
32 He followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD.

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Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Have you ever thought of your life as a building project? That’s how the apostle Paul describes it. Although He is specifically referring to the church as a whole, the principles in today’s passage also apply to our personal life. But unlike a physical structure that is visible, this one is spiritual, and as such, the quality of the building materials are not immediately discernible. However, there will come a day when the Lord will evaluate what we have built on the foundation of Christ.

None of us want to get to heaven and find out we’ve used materials that have no value in eternity and will go up in a puff of smoke. Although in our sinful human condition we can’t know exactly how God will evaluate our life, there are some guidelines in Scripture to help us live in a manner worthy of Christ’s reward.

If we use worldly wisdom to build our life, we will be disappointed. Paul says we are deceiving ourselves if we think that the wisdom, values, pursuits, and ambitions derived from a world ruled by Satan can be used to accomplish God’s will. Reliance on anything other than the Word and Spirit of God is wasted effort. Instead, we should make it our ambition to be faithful stewards of all God gives us and to live with a clear conscience.

Are you living as God desires—turning from sin and progressing in holiness. Does His Word fill your mind and shape your thoughts, behavior, and attitudes? Are you yielding to the Holy Spirit so He can produce His fruit in you? Each day is an opportunity to build for eternity.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Hebrews 11:23-29


As human beings, we often have a difficult time perceiving what the Lord is doing in our life.

We are limited by the passage of time, the confusion of present circumstances, and a lack of understanding regarding God’s goals and His means of accomplishing them. That’s why studying the lives of men and women in Scripture helps us see how the Lord worked in previous generations. God’s relationships with the faithful in earlier times are helpful examples for us today.

When we face uncertainty, we can look to Moses’ example. His life was unpredictable and full of hardship, yet he “endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (Hebrews 11:27). In Greek, the root word for “endurance” refers to the capacity to bear up under difficulty. Moses successfully persevered under pressure by keeping his focus on God rather than on the events surrounding him.

From Moses’ example, we learn that this is what the Lord desires for us as well. Although we may want out of a difficult situation as soon as possible, this may not be God’s aim. It is not His goal to make us as comfortable as can be but, rather, to transform us into the image of His Son. And endurance helps us get there.

If God calls us to endure pain, hardship, or uncertainty, we can find encouragement in knowing we’re never alone. Part of “seeing Him who is unseen” is realizing that God’s grace and comfort carry us through every situation. The Lord doesn’t want us to simply grit our teeth and bear hardship; He desires that we trust Him and bring glory to His name through our dependence.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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…, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Prayer is the lifeblood of an intimate relationship with the Father. But believers often have questions about its power and effectiveness. Don’t hesitate to take your queries to the Lord, dig into Scripture for answers, and seek the counsel of a trusted spiritual mentor. Prayer is too important to neglect.

Will God’s plans fail if I don’t pray? God is not subservient to believers or dependent upon their prayers. The time we invest in speaking with Him involves us in the work that He is doing in our lives and in the world, but He will carry on without us. Laboring alongside the Lord is our privilege.

Does my prayer (or lack thereof) impact God’s work? I believe that Scripture indicates the answer to this question is both yes and no, depending upon the situation. There are times when God’s purpose is set. He is in control and has determined the best course. In the Old Testament, the Lord often prophesied what He would do and then brought those events to pass.

In other cases, “you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). There are some good things that He holds back until we put out prayerful hands to receive them. But because God is a loving Father, He also pours our blessings that we wouldn’t even think to request.

Believer’s prayers have tremendous impact, particularly on their own faith and life. Do you understand what an awesome privilege it is to kneel before the all-powerful Father and know that He listens and will respond? God loves to be good to His children and answer their prayers.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: 1 Timothy 1:12-17

The Lord’s Grace to Paul

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Sometimes people avoid Christ’s offer of salvation because they feel they’ve messed up so badly that their sins are unforgivable. Perhaps that’s how John Newton, a former slave trader, felt before he experienced God’s mercy and penned this line from his famous hymn: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”

The apostle Paul had similar feelings—he saw himself as the foremost of sinners. But that didn’t stop him from believing in Jesus as his Savior and Lord. In fact, as he looked back at the wonderful display of divine grace in his life, Paul recognized he was being used as an example of how far God’s grace can reach.

Jesus came to save sinners. So if you are a sinner, His grace is available to you for salvation. In other words, if Paul’s and John Newton’s sins were forgivable, so are yours. In fact, those who regard themselves as wretches are in a better position than many who consider themselves good and think a Savior is unnecessary. God’s grace comes to those who acknowledge their sin and see the need for salvation.

No matter how vast your sins, God’s grace is greater. The truth is, all human beings are wretches because no one can be good enough to earn acceptance by a holy God. You can either be condemned in your sins or turn to Christ, whose blood paid your penalty for sin so you could receive a full pardon. If you accept His gracious salvation, God may even use your past as a witness so that other sinners can be saved.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Psalm 16:7-11

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


Discouragement is a powerful, destructive force.

Before we can understand how to rid our life of this common temptation, we must recognize its harmful nature.

Understand that discouragement…

Is something we choose. While it’s a natural response to difficult circumstances, we have the power to choose a different response. No one else is responsible for our discouragement.

Is universal. At times, everybody will face periods of disappointment and discouragement because we live in a flawed world filled with flawed people.

Can recur. Sometimes we think we’ve settled an issue, which later resurfaces when we least expect it. Or we may have old emotional wounds triggered by something a person says or does.

Can be temporary or lifelong. Refusing to face discouragement head-on can open the door for it to influence our decisions, actions, and relationships as long as we live.

Is conquerable. With the Father’s help, we can get through seasons of discouragement. He wants His children to have a rich and fulfilled life. If we trust in His promises and His character, our feelings of discouragement will slowly be replaced by hope.

Are you stuck in the throes of discouragement? If so, the Lord wants to lift your spirits. Let Him help you out of that lowly state: Start by believing that the Father wants to encourage you and get your life back on track with Him.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: 2 Kings 19:8-20


What do people do with feelings of anxiety? Aside from those who are medically diagnosed with anxiety disorders, fearful people tend to ruminate over potential scenarios and outcomes. They might rehearse the possibilities in their mind and take worries to bed, which keeps them tossing and turning all night. Or maybe they try to numb themselves with distractions or medication.

King Hezekiah had a legitimate reason to be anxious after receiving threats from the Assyrians, who had already conquered much of the region around Judah. But in the middle of that situation, he prayed. The king requested deliverance because he trusted in Judah’s covenant relationship with the Lord, who was sovereign over heaven and earth. Hezekiah also knew the Almighty’s desire to be known by all nations as the one true God.

God wants us to bring Him our worries just as the king did—then He can calm our anxious burdens with His peace, which surpasses all comprehension (Philippians 4:6-7). And today we have advantages that weren’t available to Hezekiah. Instead of waiting for a prophet to deliver a message from the Lord, we have the completed Scriptures, which are God’s revelation of Himself, His works, and His ways. Through His Word, we learn to know and understand the Lord and His plans so we can pray more confidently.

As we spend time in the Scriptures, we increasingly see from God’s perspective. Then our prayers will be focused on what He wills rather than on what we want. Through this kind of prayer, our spiritual needs are met, and we can set aside anxiety to live in complete trust in the Lord.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”


Seven times in the book of Matthew, Jesus encountered people with sickness or infirmities and healed them with a touch.

Although He had the power to simply speak a word or command illness to leave, He often chose a more hands-on approach. In the case of the leper in today’s passage, Jesus’ personal touch must have been something the man rarely experienced, since he was considered untouchable. In fact, that may be why Jesus chose this avenue of healing.

The need for a touch from a fellow human being has not disappeared in the 2,000 years since Jesus walked the earth. Yet in a world dominated by social media and technology, we are now more isolated than ever before. Physical contact is being replaced with “likes” on Facebook. And when we do think of touch, it’s often associated with scandal, impropriety, or immorality. How did this wonderful word become so maligned?

As Christians, we have the opportunity to “touch” people in a variety of ways, including by our words—for example, the proclamation of salvation through Jesus Christ can transform a person’s life and eternal destiny. However, ministry is also accomplished with our hands through service, compassion, and the encouragement of a hug or loving pat on the shoulder.

Our heart, mouth, and hands must be cooperating in order to fully minister in Jesus’ name. And whether alone or gathered with others, we have the privilege of touching lives through prayer. Jesus touched people both physically and spiritually, and as His followers, we must do likewise. Look for opportunities in which God might use you for His glory.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: 2 Corinthians 3:1-6


(v. 5)Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.”

Paul never claimed he was capable of accomplishing all that God called him to do. He simply learned to look beyond his own inadequacy to the sufficiency of Christ. If we’ll adopt the same practice, we, too, can discover the blessings hidden in our own experiences of inadequacy.

Our insufficiency drives us to God. When we realize a situation is bigger than we can handle, we’re quick to open the Bible and diligently pray for guidance and power.

Inadequacy relieves us of the burden of self-effort and self-reliance. The Lord has us right where He wants us–at the end of our rope with nothing left to give.

Inability motivates reliance on divine power. We’ll never be adequate until we draw from the Holy Spirit’s inexhaustible strength. He does in and through us what God never intended that we do on our own.

By using weak, inadequate people, God demonstrates what great things He can do. He actually delights in choosing unlikely individuals to carry out His purposes. There’s no limit to what He can do through someone willing to give Him full control.

Inadequacy challenges our faith. Paul says, “Our adequacy is from God” (v. 5)
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.”

Why go through all the fear, pressure, and frustration that accompany feelings of inadequacy when there’s an alternative? Let the Lord make you adequate: rely upon Him and allow Christ to live in and through you. He will replace your anxiety with a quiet spirit of contentment.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Ezekiel 36:25-28


The Lord wants to give each of us a “heart of flesh” so that we will be pliable and responsive to Him. When touched by the finger of God, a tender heart yields to the pressure and assumes the form He desires, much like a lump of clay that allows the potter to determine the shape of the vessel.

To aid in this process, God has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell each believer and awaken responsiveness in him or her. By yielding to the Spirit’s promptings with ready obedience, the heart becomes increasingly tender and sensitive to His leading. The Lord is able to impart greater understanding of His Word to a soft heart because it has faithfully accepted and obeyed previous teachings.

Any resistance to God will result in hardening. But those who are accustomed to intimacy with Christ—which is the result of submission to Him—will be quick to deal with sin and return to the place of obedience and blessing.

People with tender hearts stay closely connected to the body of Christ, seeking to build up and encourage others in their walk of faith. Such individuals are not only receptive to what God wants to tell them; they are also teachable, in that they are willing to listen and be corrected by others.

This week when you read your Bible and pray, let your heart be soft toward the words of God. As He pokes His finger into each hard area, listen to His instructions, and rely on the Spirit’s power to help you yield and obey. Let Him shape you into a beautiful and useful vessel.

by Dr. Charles Stanley
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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

When a lawyer asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest, He said,

You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew. 22:37, 39).

What an overwhelming assignment!

In our own strength, none of us can live up to this obligation, but the Lord has provided a way for Christians to do the impossible. The indwelling Holy Spirit works to produce His fruit in us, and first on the list is love (Galatians 5:22). In fact, the other eight qualities are really just descriptions of its expression.

Whenever we demonstrate kindness, patience, or gentleness, we see the Lord’s love at work through us, especially when the other person has been unkind and doesn’t deserve such pleasant treatment. This fruit is not produced by trying harder to muster good will toward someone who is irritating or hard to get along with. Instead, think of the process more like sap running through a branch on a grape-vine. The branch doesn’t make grapes; the sap does. In the same way, the Spirit flows through us, producing God’s love in us, so that we can pass it on to Him and others.

Agape love is the reason we are able to care for someone who mistreats us—it’s God’s doing, not ours. Even the adoration we offer the Lord is not something that we can produce in our own heart apart from His assistance. Though the command to love is enormous, God’s grace makes it possible.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Judges 6:1-16


Anyone who’s struggled with fear and anxiety understands the difficulty of overcoming these emotions. Gideon was a man who experienced great apprehension because he lived when Israel was being oppressed by the Midianites as a result of their rebellion against God.

Conditions had become so desperate that Gideon was threshing grain in a wine press so the enemy wouldn’t think to steal it. It was at this low point in his life that the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. Imagine his stress! He didn’t see himself as a great warrior and felt totally inadequate for the task.

Gideon’s problem was his focus. Despite being reassured that God was with him, Gideon observed the situation through human eyes and concluded that the Lord had abandoned Israel. Then he looked at himself from that same perspective and listed all the reasons why he was not the one to deliver Israel. But the Lord again responded by saying, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man” (Judges  6:16).

Like Gideon, we too are prone to focus on our own weakness and inability rather than count on what we know to be true about the Lord. We can think of a thousand things to worry about instead of remembering God’s past faithfulness and the certainty of His future promises.

Persevering through anxiety is easier when we know God intimately, believe His Word, and trust Him explicitly. In the process, we’ll discover that our anxiety is outweighed by His peace.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Colossians 3:8-17


Christians are called to put aside “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech” (Colossians  3:8). The command is clear, but the process of achieving and maintaining this goal may seem confusing and overwhelming.

The first step is to recognize anger in our heart. This may seem unnecessary to those who are naturally expressive, but people who bury their anger deep within will need to spend time with the Lord in reflection and soul-searching. Resentment that’s been growing and infecting the heart can do great damage; the sharp sword of God’s Word is needed to reveal anger that has been simmering under the surface
(Hebrews  4:12).

The next step is to confess unrighteous anger as sin and then begin to deal with it immediately. Because anger is often a response to hurt, care must be taken not to excuse or defend it in the name of justice. So even when someone has sinned against you, it’s important to realize that holding onto anger in response is also a sin. Scripture tells us to overcome evil with good, not to repay it (Romans  12:17;   Romans  12:21).

Some people want to hang on to ill feelings, but nursing a resentful attitude isn’t sustainable; anger must be put aside. If we retain our “right” to hold grudges, we can’t expect to live in the new nature Christ has created for us.

The place where we will find strength is in that new Christlike personality. Our responsibility is to put it on. He invites us to cooperate with Him in the process of transformation. With each step of obedience, the peace of Christ will increase and anger will diminish.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission

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Read: 1 Peter 4:12-14


We shouldn’t expect the Christian life to be easy and comfortable, because believers aren’t exempt from trials. In fact, becoming a Christian may result in increased trouble and suffering. Peter refers to such hardship as a “fiery ordeal,” and tells us not to be surprised by it (1 Peter 4:12). God uses our suffering for His good purposes, and He walks through it with us. Hope in the midst of affliction is possible when we understand what God is achieving in the situation.

First, the heavenly Father sometimes uses painful experiences to purify us. Trials drive us to the Lord and open our eyes to sins that we have tolerated. His discipline is not designed to crush us but to produce “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11).

Second, the Lord at times allows difficulty as a way of testing us. His goal is to produce increased faith, endurance, and devotion to Him. Rather than complaining, we should exult in our tribulations, knowing that they are producing proven character within us (Romans 5:3-4).

Third, God uses suffering to display his power. Trials humble us by revealing our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). They teach us to depend on the Lord for the power to persevere and mature.

Fourth, our suffering has eternal benefits. Earthly affliction “is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Let these truths encourage you to view your next trial from God’s perspective. Though you may not feel it at the time, the Lord is with you. He is your hope and sufficiency.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: John 20:24-31


Have you ever doubted God?

At some point in life, every one of us could probably answer yes. Doubts come when our expectations are not met—for example, when we believe that God will act a certain way, but He doesn’t. Then we start to question His love and wonder whether He truly has our best interest at heart.

The most famous doubter in the Bible is Thomas. He wasn’t with the other disciples when the resurrected Jesus appeared to them. Later, when they told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, he refused to believe. He’d left everything to follow Jesus, but the crucifixion had dashed his expectations of a glorious messianic kingdom. In his doubting state, Thomas demanded proof before he would believe.

Have you ever considered how bold Thomas’s ultimatum was? No human being has the right to demand anything of the Son of God. Yet the following week, the Lord appeared to the doubting disciple and graciously offered the proof Thomas wanted. Jesus knew this wasn’t a case of rebellious unbelief, because Thomas belonged to Him (John 18:9).

When we are the Lord’s, we never have to fear that He will cut us off. Remember Scripture’s words of assurance: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). Our doubts should be a reminder that we have much more to learn about God. So let’s think of them as a challenge to dig deeply into His Word to discover why our expectations have led us astray. The more we grow in our knowledge of our Lord, the more we’ll trust Him.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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