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A Blessing in Disguise

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A Blessing in Disguise

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Perhaps at times it even seems that we pray more only to see our trials increase. Although we are often quick to assume that our prayers aren't being answered, we may be surprised that in some cases God may be answering us not by removing our trials, but by allowing them to continue! Look at it this way—God may be blessing you by giving you an opportunity to grow.

An illustration of this principle can be seen in the patriarch Abraham's life. On God's orders, Abraham packed up and left Haran without ever having been to the land God was directing Him to. This shows a great deal of faith, but notice that this is just the beginning—God had more in mind for Abraham.

Next, God tested Abraham's faith concerning His ability to protect him and his wife—twice. Both times Abraham allowed his fear to get the best of him and failed. Meanwhile, Abraham had decades to develop faith by waiting for the son God promised him. Here again, Abraham fell short. Only after many years did Abraham finally get it right with the near-sacrifice of Isaac.

Now, instead of just reading the account of Abraham's life, try putting yourself in Abraham's position. This was a lot of trouble to go through! However, it is because of these trials that Abraham developed the kind of faith that earned him the title "father of the faithful" (Romans 4:11), the kind of faith we read about in Hebrews 11.

Of course this principle doesn't just apply to faith, but to many aspects of life. If you pray for patience, don't be surprised if God gives you the opportunity to wait. Or if you pray for courage, you may find yourself in more situations that require bravery.

While you're in Hebrews 11, go one chapter further to Hebrews 12:11, where we read that "no chastening seems to be joyful," but that it "yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness." The next time you feel overwhelmed, remember Abraham's example, and remember that, just like Abraham, we have been called to bear fruit for God! UN