We were under great pressure. (2 Corinthians 1: 8)
. . . so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12: 9)
God allowed the crisis in Jacob’s life at Peniel to totally surround him until he ultimately came to the point of making an earnest and humble appeal to God Himself. That night, he wrestled with God and literally came to the place where he could take hold of Him as never before. And through his narrow brush with danger, Jacob’s faith and knowledge of God was expanded, and his power to live a new and victorious life was born.
The Lord had to force David, through the discipline of many long and painful years, to learn of the almighty power and faithfulness of his God. Through those difficult years, he also grew in his knowledge of faith and godliness, which were indispensable principles for his glorious career as the king of Israel.
Nothing but the most dangerous circumstances in which Paul was constantly placed could ever have taught him, and thus the church through him, the full meaning of the great promise of God he learned to claim: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12: 9). And nothing but the great trials and dangers we have experienced would ever have led some of us to know Him as we do, to trust Him as we have, and to draw from Him the great measure of His grace so indispensable during our times of greatest need.
Difficulties and obstacles are God’s challenges to our faith. When we are confronted with hindrances that block our path of service, we are to recognize them as vessels for faith and then to fill them with the fullness and complete sufficiency of Jesus. As we move forward in faith, simply and fully trusting Him, we may be tested. Sometimes we may have to wait and realize that “perseverance must finish its
work” (James 1: 4). But ultimately we will surely find “the stone rolled away” (Luke 24: 2) and the Lord Himself waiting to bestow a double blessing on us for our time of testing.
~A. B. Simpson
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 429). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.