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For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. [7] Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. (Job 5:6-7 NIV)

I'd like to think that calamity will visit everyone but me, but I know it isn't true. Calamity will visit your home, and it will visit mine too.

Everyone suffers. Why?

Well for one thing, random selection will mean that I'll have my turn. If one out of a thousand people will get a certain disease, then I have one chance out of a thousand that it will be me.

Other times, I suffer because of something stupid I've done. If I eat too much, I can't blame anyone but myself that my stomach hurts, or that I gain weight. 

Sometimes I suffer because Satan is attacking me. Satan is alive and well, and he will do anything he can to keep God's people from touching lives and changing the world.

But sometimes, I suffer at God's hand. God uses trials to discipline, instruct and build character in me. 

My first reaction to trials is "Why me?" But the more I think about it, my first response should be, "Why not me?" I mean, aren't I a part of the human race, and statistically, won't some bad stuff happen to me? And don't I do stupid stuff that has consequences? Why would Satan pick on everyone else and leave me alone? And doesn't God love me and want to discipline, instruct and build character in me?

After my initial emotional reaction to trials, I've learned to clear my head and ask myself some questions. Is there something I need to learn from this? Am I doing something stupid that I need to stop doing? Do I need to build defenses against a satanic attack? What is God trying to teach me?

In the quiet moments that follow those questions, I hear the voice of God. And when I do, the trial becomes an asset, not a liability.

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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