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What to Do Before the Train Wreck

John A Carroll


Week 29 in the Word--July 16, 2021


Recently, I got a text from a friend who asked for prayer for a hard situation. It seemed like he was anticipating a crisis—a train wreck. So, he asked for prayer. Naturally, I replied that I would pray for him, and I did.


The burden I felt for my friend continued that day and into the night. Early the next morning, I awoke still concerned for my needy brother. A verse came to mind that I had memorized years ago.


God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV).


As I lay there in the dawn’s early light, I remembered a prayer meeting when I was in college. Someone in the group shared a difficult problem. We all listened intently, not knowing what to say. Then one of the students, Paul, broke the silence. With a mischievous smirk on his face, he misquoted the above verse this way:


“God is sometimes able to make a little grace trickle to you so that you sometimes having a tiny bit of sufficiency in a few things, may perform an occasional good work.”


We all laughed as Paul’s misquotation drove his point into our minds and hearts. [See, I still remember this after 55 years.] We had been focusing on the difficulty of the problem not on the ability of God. My perspective was changed to look at things through the lens of the greatness of God, His readiness to help us in our need so that whatever opportunity, crisis, or problem we faced we would be able to accomplish the work He was giving us to do.


I realize that the Apostle wrote these words to the Corinthians in the context of their promise to give an offering to help needy Christians in Jerusalem. But three truths have broad application to all believers who meet challenging calls to service, imminent train wrecks.


Consider this:


1. God is able. Our God is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His power, wisdom, and goodness. Nothing is too hard for Him. Whatever the need or opportunity He puts before us, we can rely on His ability.


2. God gives us grace. We are undeserving. We cannot earn His grace. By grace, He saves us, keeps us, transforms us, and uses us like clay pots providing what we need to do what He calls us to do.


3. God’s grace is sufficient. We are unable. We need His help. When the road is hard, the mountains too steep, and the task seems impossible the truth is the road IS too hard, the mountains ARE too steep, and the task IS impossible in our own strength. We are meant to call upon Him for HIS strength. We are meant to quit relying on ourselves for the ability to do the job or carry the load. Our sufficiency comes from Him and it is all we need.



So, in the wee hours I got up and prayed for my friend in need. I prayed that he would experience the grace of God and have all the sufficiency to abound to every good work. I texted him the verse and later, when I saw him, he reported how God’s grace had sustained him in his trial.


Train wreck averted! To God be the glory!


May we learn to trust Him totally and know that He will meet us in our need and make us abound to every good work, today, tomorrow, and always. Have a great week in the Word!


Week of July 16-22, 2021

July 16/Day 197 Cultural Collision Coming (Psalms 19-21; Acts 19:21-41) July 17/Day 198 The Best Encouragers (Psalms 22-24; Acts 20:1-16) July 18/Day 199 Ready to Die; Ready to Live (Psalms 25-27; Acts 20:17-38) July 19/Day 200 The Prayer that Never Fails (Psalms 28-30; Acts 21:1-14) July 20/Day 201 The Limits of Wise Counsel (Psalms 31-33; Acts 21:15-40) July 21/Day 202 When the Righteous are Afflicted (Psalms 34-35; Acts 22) July 22/Day 203 Paul’s Tweet (Psalms 36-37; Acts 23:1-11)



 

Tip of the Week: When a train wreck seems imminent, call a friend who believes that God is able and ask for prayer.

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