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Today's Prayer
Oh, how I praise You Lord!  You heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. You count the number of the stars and call them all by name. Great are You, Lord, and mighty in power. Your understanding is infinite. You lift up the humble, and cast the wicked down to the ground. I praise you Lord, you who covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth; you who makes grass to grow on mountains and gives food to beasts of the earth. Praise you Lord, the One whom I trust to heal my hurts and bind up my wounds...and provide my needs. Bless you, in Jesus' name. Amen.

From Adversity to Destiny
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position" (James 1:9).

Most of us avoid pain. We keep our medicine cabinets loaded with pain relievers. We couldn't imagine major surgery without an anesthetic. We are so averse to pain that we think God must desire that we will experience pain-free lives. After all, a loving God surely wouldn't want us to suffer pain, would He? Although God takes no pleasure in our pain, we have to acknowledge that He sometimes allows painful circumstances to occur in our lives in order to shape us and make us more like Christ. Sometimes our times of despair turn out to be a much needed light into our soul.

I once came across the following poem written by an anonymous Confederate soldier, a devout young man who fought in the American Civil War. The lines of this poem express the soul of a man who has learned to view his times of adversity from a different perspective:


I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among men, most richly blessed.*

Do we trust God to lead us even though we can't see the pathway in front of us? Do we trust Him to be all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful? Do we believe He does all things well? As Paul wrote, "Everything that does not come from faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23). That's why God leads us through the dark places.

Only in the darkness do we learn to walk by faith.

*"Prayer of an Unknown Soldier," quoted in Austin Pryor, "Trusting God to Answer Our Prayers," Crosswalk.com. http://www.crosswalk.com/family/finances/1386973.html (accessed April 24, 2006).

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.



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When does God call people to long-term missionary service?

* 21% were called as a result of a missions education service in their local church
* 20% felt God calling them after listening to missionary speakers
* 19% were called because of their own family's missions vision and conversations
* 10% heard God's call through reading missionary books

-- Terry Read, missionary and missions professor