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Handling Life's Difficult Experiences


you've got no water, and then finally the water you get, it tastes bitter. You can
see that water. They probably broke into a run. They all ran to the water. They
get in the water, start slopping it up and aarrgh! spitting it out like that.
So what they had was a bitter experience, a disappointing experience. I wonder
how many of you tonight have faced an experience which was quite
disappointing, that was quite a bitter experience, something that happened that
actually was like a setback in your life. You never expected something like that
would happen. Often we find that we have these experiences, they just come into
our life unexpectedly; but here's the second thing. Difficulties are always an
opportunity for you to grow, so currently some of you may be facing a difficult
experience, a difficult season or experience. You may be in a relationship, maybe
a financial issue, it may be a personal issue, or it may be just a season you're
going through, a lot of difficulty in your life. You pray, and it doesn't seem like
God comes through for you. It's what's called a bitter experience.
But these kinds of experiences are an opportunity to grow. God is committed to
your growth or your character, not your comfort. Now it's a help to realise that,
that we may think that God is going to come through, on every need that I have,
and He'll supply on time. I've observed that He doesn't always come through on
time, and He definitely doesn't come through like you expect. He often comes
through in a way that you don't expect at all; so when you are going through a
difficult time, or difficult season in your life, it is an opportunity for you to grow.
The Bible says: He tested them; or gave them an opportunity to grow and to shift.
If you're going to come into the things God has for you, you have to grow. You
have to grow. You have to grow. God has planned many things for you, but it's
like a father having a motorbike he wants to give to the child, but the child's only
about six. He's not going to get the motorbike; not until they're grown up.
You've actually got to cooperate with God in His preparation process, or you can't
experience the things He's planned for you; so the best things that God has for
you are yet ahead for you. I don't know how many, but I g uess when we get to
heaven we'll have a look, and God will show us these are all the things that I
intended for you, but when the going got tough, oh my, why did you respond that
way? Why did you sulk? Why did you quit? Why did you give up? Why did you
draw back? I had so much I was planning for you, and you quit on me, right at the
key point when I was trying to prepare you; so you'd know what to do, and have
the courage to handle it.
So difficulties are an opportunity for us to grow, because they reveal our heart
condition. So you notice here, that when they came to Marah, it says they
couldn't drink; and it says: they complained. They complained. Now one of the
things to understand, is that people that have been in bondage, and people that
have been in a life of slavery, often they have what's called a victim mentality. A
victim mentality is: I'm powerless; life's not fair, and someone's to blame. So
whenever you face a difficult situation in life, whatever's in your heart will come
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