"[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]." (Philippians 3:10 AMP)
A.B. Simpson says: "God is preparing his heroes. And when the opportunity comes he can fit them into their place in a moment. And the world will wonder where they came from."
I confess, very early in my walk with the Lord I believed if I played by the rules, did everything right then life would (and should) go smoothly for me. Lately I have thought about that shallow, one-dimensional, superficial thinking I once had.
Relying on my ability, not God's.
Not unlike the Pharisees.
If I want God to have the victory, I must continually come to terms with my own inadequacy. The trials I have experienced lately have caused me to dig even deeper into the Word, cling more closely to God, and rely on Him completely. I really doubt that I would spend as much time at His feet if I hadn't experienced some difficult times. Although very painful, I am finding that surrendering...releasing my control...sacrificing everything in all areas of my life is becoming easier. The joy of the Lord is my strength! Joy is not a feeling. It's not about my circumstances. It is a realization that God is in control.
D. Martyn Lloyd Jones writes, "Every believer knows that the deepest moments of spiritual fellowship with the living Christ are the direct result of intense suffering. Suffering drives us to Christ, because in Christ we find the sympathetic merciful High Priest Who cares, Who comforts, Who feels our pain and Who was tempted in every way just as we are. This is God's divine formula for fellowship to succor every suffering saint..."
For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. (Hebrews 4:15)