September 7, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress." Psalm 4:1
We all seek to enlarge the boundaries of our interests, concerns, and welfare. We seek to improve our life-style and bring a measure of happiness to our family and friends. Many are more successful than others, and they seem to have a knack of knowing just what to do, and how to make it happen. We respond by saying, "I wish I could make things happen like so-and-so."
God seeks to bring us into that "fulfillment of life" we seek, often through means completely foreign to us. God often uses sorrows, difficulties, adversities, and trials in our lives "as the very means and the source" of life's greatest enlargement. And what is the blessing that we learn through it all? Not only that He has wonderfully interceded and delivered us, but the freedom, liberty, peace, and joy we experience of seeing HIS presence and power manifested IN the experience. We dared to trust Him, and there resulted a growth in grace and a deepening of our faith...IN the distress.
In the natural, we try to distance ourselves from the distresses of life, when God is seeking to be our sufficiency IN them. Athletes spend hours, days, and months in training. Unless they are faithful in their training, they will not be the best when put to the test. This was so graphically brought to my attention a few years ago when I was on a flight from New York to San Francisco.
I was seated beside an elderly gentleman from Taiwan. He told me he was returning from the Seniors Olympic Track Meet that was held in Raleigh, N.C. He showed me the gold medal he won for first place in the 1500 meter run, another gold medal in the 500 meters, and a silver medal for the 1000 meter race. He was 76 years old. I was blown out-of-the-water. Amazed, I asked him, "How can a man your age endure such a long strenuous run." He said, "For fifty years I got up at five each morning and ran for six miles. I conditioned my body with the proper exercise and was careful to eat only those foods that were good for me. I disciplined my life so that I could not only run far and long...but be the BEST."
I thought, how complacent we are when it comes to the disciplines of life. Paul said, "Know ye not that they which run a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." When God seeks to bend our hearts and align our lives to His will...it is with the intent of "enlarging our lives" for our good and His glory. It is IN these disciplined times we are awakened to our need and brought into an intimate relationship with Christ...an ENLARGING PROCESS!
Then he says in Hebrews 12:1..."Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith."
Yield your life to His control...your heart to His Lordship. David said, "Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress." I trust we may go through our distress with Christ, and say with Paul..."Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-09-07
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