ODJ: difficult opportunities

January 4, 2014 

READ: Philippians 4:10-23 

I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me (v.10).

I was driving to my friend’s memorial service when rows of cars began braking in front of me. I turned on the radio and learned that traffic was backed up because of an accident miles ahead. I lurched and stopped for 10 minutes . . . then 20. Now I was late. I thought about turning around and going home. But then it occurred to me that sticking it out would be the best way to show that I cared. I didn’t know if I would make it to the service, but every minute of my forced waiting would express my devotion to my friend.

This is Paul’s point to the Philippians. They had heard about his “present difficulty” (v.14), which appears to have been financial. The need excited them because it provided an opportunity to express their love. Paul knew they loved him, but only now did they have an “opportunity to show it” (v.10 NIV).

Every difficulty presents an opportunity. Have you ever risen early to read the Bible and got nothing out of it? You had no idea what you read or how it applied to your life. Of course you want much more from your time in God’s Word. But if you set your alarm and went at it again the next morning, you were telling God in unmistakable terms that you love Him.

Or perhaps you’re overwhelmed by worry. Your job, health or closest human relationship is breaking down and you desperately need God to move on your behalf. No one enjoys these predicaments, but what an opportunity to express your devotion! If you trust God now, when fear is screaming for you to fight or flee, then you’re letting God know that you’re fiercely committed to Him.

Don’t waste your difficult opportunities. They can be ways to show how much God means to you. —Mike Wittmer
Genesis 6:9-22 ‹

Read Genesis 22:1-19 and learn how God knew that Abraham feared Him.  
What difficulty has you down? How will you use this opportunity to express your devotion to God?