Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 48 : Receive God's Power | Day 334

Pass Tests While You Tarry!

He hurried down the concourse to catch an important connecting flight. As he arrived at the gate, he noticed that the door was closed and the airplane was just pulling away. Looking at his watch, he stepped up to the counter and said, "I don't understand. The airplane is leaving eight minutes early. I really needed to be on that flight."

The representative replied, "Yes, unfortunately the airplane left early, and I am sorry but we cannot call it back." After making arrangements to be included on the next flight, the pastor sat down to wait. A little while later, the representative, who had been watching him closely, came over and asked, "Why are you so pleasant? I expected that you would get angry after what happened."

The pastor explained, "I belong to God. He controls all things. If He wanted me on that airplane, He would have kept it here until it was originally scheduled to depart. I know that since He didn't allow me to catch that flight, He must have something better for me, and for that I am grateful." This pastor passed an important test to get more of God's power:

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).

How can we prepare to "pass the tests" that God gives us? One of the most important ways is to develop a thankful heart that recognizes and accepts His sovereignty in our lives.

There are at least four good reasons why we should give thanks for whatever God allows to happen in our lives. First of all, God is in control of all things. Nothing happens without His awareness and permission, not even the falling of one sparrow. Therefore, we can be sure that God is fully aware of everything that happens to us. (See Matthew 10:29-31.)

Second, if we love the Lord and are committed to doing His will, then we can be confident that what He allows to happen will be for our ultimate good. (See Romans 8:28.)

Third, one of the highest purposes for which God allows difficulties in our lives is to conform us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we learn to respond as Christ would to whatever situations we face, we develop His characteristics, including patience, endurance, compassion, discernment, wisdom, humility, self-control, and many other important qualities. (See Hebrews 12:5-11 and Romans 8:29.)

Fourth, God wants to teach us His ways, which are higher than our ways, and His thoughts, which are higher than our thoughts. (See Isaiah 55:9.) By humbling ourselves and thanking God for whatever He allows us to experience, we will demonstrate meekness, which is strength under control. Scripture promises, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way” (Psalm 25:9).

When we rejoice in tribulation, we gain patience, experience, hope, and love, which come by the power of the Holy Spirit. (See Romans 5:3-5.)

This pastor thanked God for allowing Him to miss his airplane, because he knew it was the right thing to do. However, he later had more reasons to be thankful when he learned that the airplane he missed had tragically crashed.

If we want to experience more of the power of the Holy Spirit, we must begin by fully surrendering ourselves to His control and exhibiting a grateful attitude for whatever He allows in our lives.

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard