You can't talk the talk if you've never walked the walk. You can't encourage somebody else to believe the improbable if you haven't believed the impossible. You can't light another's candle of hope if your own torch of faith isn't burning.
Insight for Today
Written by Chuck Swindoll, these encouraging devotional thoughts are published seven days per week.
If you walk with the Lord long enough, you will discover that His tests often come back-to-back. Or perhaps it would be even more accurate to say back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Usually, His preparatory tests don't stop with one or two. They multiply.
In a very real sense, God has designed a boot camp for His children, but it doesn't last just eight weeks or 10 weeks. Nor is it a weekend seminar we can take or a daylong workshop we can attend. God's training course takes place periodically throughout the Christian life.
When we hit a tough spot, our tendency is to feel abandoned, to become resentful, to think, How could God forget me? In fact, just the opposite is true. In times of testing, we are more than ever the object of His concern.
I've had my own times when the brook has dried up, and I've found myself wondering about the things I've believed and preached for years. What happened? Had God died? No. My vision just got a little blurry.
Would you accept such an assignment from God? Would you respond with such immediate obedience? How many of us would say nothing except, "Yes, Sir. I trust You completely. I don't need the spotlight to survive." Very few!
We have to learn to trust God one day at a time. Did you notice that God never told Elijah what the second step would be until he had taken the first step?
Sometimes God, without explaining Himself, simply removes us from one place and reshapes us for another.
For the godly hero to be useful as an instrument of significance in the Lord's hand, he must be humbled and forced to trust.
The disciplined regimen of boot camp—day after day, week after week—brought about remarkable changes in each one of us. As a result, we left that place completely different than we were when we arrived.