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Sometimes we blow our problems out of proportion, and we worry about difficulties that never come to pass. Nevertheless, living in the real world does present some problems. Being a Christian does not mean a trouble-free life -- it means we have God's help with whatever problems do arise. God's word equips us to deal with the real problems of daily living.
The Christian is not unrealistic or naive. In fact, he can afford to be more realistic than the unbeliever. Peter warned, "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Our enemy is no fairy-tale figure. He is real, and his intent is to destroy our spiritual lives. If it were not for God's help, we would have no adequate defense against his schemes. But the truth is, we do have God's help -- and that makes all the difference.
However powerful the devil may be, God is always more powerful. As John wrote to his fellow Christians: "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 Jn. 4:4). In the strength of God, we can have boldness and confidence in the face of life's problems. There is not a problem in this world so big that God cannot help us overcome it.
Receiving this help for daily living is one of the important reasons why we study the Scriptures. It is in God's revealed truth that we gain the understanding we need to meet our challenges. In the faithful, obedient study of the Bible, the godly person finds himself being "equipped" to deal with life in this world. As Paul put it, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16,17).
As we study God's word throughout the coming week, let's remember to be thankful for the help of God that comes to us through His word. God has revealed His wonderful mind to us so that we might grow in strength and freedom. In this truth there is real help for living in the real world. It is our privilege as God's people to trust and obey!
Monday: 2 Corinthians 3:4,5
Key Idea: It is God who makes us adequate to meet life's challenges.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the difference between saying "we are sufficient in ourselves" and saying "our sufficiency is from God"? Should Christians fear inferiority or inadequacy in meeting the problems of real life?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:14.
Tuesday: 2 Timothy 3:16,17
Key Idea: God has given us the Scriptures to equip us for every good work.
Questions for Family Growth: Why is being "equipped" necessary before we can do good works? What are some specific ways the word of God equips us? Is there ever anything we need to do that God's word doesn't help us be able to do?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:15.
Wednesday: 2 Peter 1:1-4
Key Idea: God is willing and able to supply all we need to live godly lives.
Questions for Family Growth: According to this text, what has God's divine power given to us? As Christians, what is it that we desire to become "partakers" of? Whose power can we rely on to help us meet the challenges that come our way?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:16.
Thursday: Ephesians 6:10-20
Key Idea: If we are strong in the Lord, we can stand against the devil.
Questions for Family Growth: What are the "wiles" (v.11 NKJV) of the devil? How can we stand against these? What are the parts of the "armor of God" that are listed in these verses? Is there anything we will face in this world that God can't help us with?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:17.
Friday: 2 Peter 1:5-11
Key Idea: Having acquired strong, godly character traits, we can keep from stumbling.
Questions for Family Growth: What are we to "make every effort" to do? Why are these character traits so important? According to v.8, what results from having these attributes? Looking at vv.10,11, can we be confident we will not stumble? What are we taught in Jude 24,25?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:18.