GOD’S POWER AMIDST HARDSHIPS AND CHALLENGES; CLOSER LOOK AT PAUL’S LIFE
Life is not a bed of roses. Did you think that when you come Christ; all your problems challenges, debts and many other challenges instantly come to an end. May be yes, you thought! But you see things have not changed or actually they have gone worse. What could have happened? Someone may ask, “If God is caring, why I am going through this hard situation”. If God rewards faithful servants, “Why did I fail my exams and yet I dedicated my life serving him faithfully,” “If God is love, how can He allow my Child, husband, wife, parent or guardian to die at this point in time?” These and many more questions always run through the minds of many when things are not going well in their lives and yet they are believers. Could you be in the same situation wondering?
It is true that God is love and called us to himself. This may not necessarily mean that we have become immune to life pressures and challenges. But the good thing is that even when we go through this, he is still aware and he will always prepare a way for us to get out of the any challenges. So, trust him. In case challenges come, use them as an opportunity to build your relationship with God. Do not focus on the challenge or problem you are going through but rather focus on God. When you focus on the challenge you lose trust in God and yet when you focus on God, you can never be shaken by any situation that comes. In any bad situation that you may ever go through don’t ask, “Where is God in this situation? but ask, “Where is my trust in this situation? When you ask the former question, you may blame God for what you are going through but when you ask the latter, it will point back you to God.
Let’s explore Paul’s life.
The call of Paul Acts 9:15-16
15 But the lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before gentiles, kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” ESV
The many times I read this text, I usually stopped at Vs 15. Vs 15 shows the purpose why Paul was called and the people he was to minister. Before He was called, God first prepared what you would call his “Job description. My attention was never drawn to vs 16 which is part “B” of his job description. I didn’t know why? It was not until Dr. Julius Twongeirwe who was leading us in our staff devotion that I noticed how serious vs 16 is. As part of the job description, suffering was part of Paul’s call. Yes, Paul preached to the gentiles, children of Israel and to the kings as he was promised but he also experienced hardships, problems and challenges on many occasions. Why would God include that in Paul’s call? It’s because, when you chose to go God’s way, you oppose the patterns and values of this world and in turn you will face the same opposition back
So, what can we learn from the call of Paul?
- Trust God the more
Paul did not depart from God after realizing that suffering was part of what was promised as in his ministry. He continued to execute God’s call upon his life even when he met obstacles and challenges. Never abandon your faith because of the difficult things happening in your life. God is bigger than those challenges
- Focus on God more.
Some situations can cause you to focus on them and you forget God. There is no situation that is beyond repair. God is our mechanic. No matter the condition, God is our problem solver. Have hope that one time, you will be delivered.
- Be strengthened.
Some situations leave us stronger in our faith instead of breaking us down. The more Paul was persecuted, the stronger he emerged. You should not surrender to what you are going through and be knocked out. Be strengthened, encouraged by the fact that the one you believed is more powerful and surely, he is!
Written by: Mark Karuhanga