You’ll Have It When You Need It
If you’re like me, the truth that challenges and struggles are an inevitable part of every season of life isn’t exactly comforting. I’m just not to the point where I can say I rejoice in suffering. In fact, most of my biggest worries and fears are related to how to avoid future suffering. When things are going fairly well, I’ve ruined many a peaceful night wondering when it’s going to get bad again. Just how bad is it going to get?
Jesus knew our tendency to worry about the struggles ahead, which is why He said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Jesus asks us to live in day-tight compartments. I believe this is a key to getting through the adventure-and-challenge stage of each season. Stay focused on today. Be present today. Commit to learn what the struggle has to teach you today.
When the Israelites were doing their circle season in the wilderness, slowly making their way to their destiny while God toughened them up and strengthened them for what was ahead, He gave them just enough food from Heaven for that day. If they stored up more, it was rotten by the next morning. I think the lesson here is this: You will have the grace you need when you need it. But not before. So focus on today.
Paul said, “Endure hardship as discipline” (Hebrew 12:7) You’ve been wanting to be more disciplined, right? Here’s your chance. Discipline your mind to stay focused and engaged on what’s right in front of you. Do whatever it takes to keep your perspective lifted in the battle today. When tomorrow comes, you’ll have the grace you need for its challenges.
When I look back at all the challenges we faced [as missionaries] in Mexico, I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. And I deﬁnitely don’t want to do it again. I have some regrets about how I didn’t keep things in perspective. I got so frazzled and irritated. But the further I get down the road, looking back, I see just how important that season was in preparing me for the future. I learned new skills. I also saw some dark sides of me that I needed to deal with.
When life gets hard in the circle you’re in, you’ll have to decide how you choose to see those struggles. Will you complain and cower to the challenges? Or will you stand up straight, put your shoulders back, and see the challenges for what they are: strength training and preparation for glory?
If you can get a new perspective on your struggles and begin to see them as part of the upward circle that is pushing you to your destiny, making you stronger, it can help shift how you see your current situation. Remember, you’ve been through battles before and God helped you through. He’ll do it again this time.
Embrace the struggle in the adventure. Don’t create unnecessary suffering or make life harder than it needs to be. But don’t run from necessary suffering — the kind that makes you stronger. Trust that when God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” He means it (2 Corinthians 12:9). It’ll be there when you need it. Challenges will come, but right in the middle of it, you can be conﬁdent that “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Joël Malm joins Randy and Tammy this Monday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from Connecting The Dots by Joël Malm. Copyright ©2023 by Joël Malm. Published by Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing. Used by permission.