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Handling Life's Difficult Experiences

Mike Connell

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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 guess 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 out through your mouth; and what they did was, they began to complain. They began to speak, and always when people complain, they're trying to find someone to blame, someone to put responsibility for the situation on.

So they complained against Moses. They complained against God's visible representative. They complained against God Himself. Basically they were blaming them for the situation, saying: it's your fault. You brought us here, you got us here. How come you put us in such a situation?

I wonder when you face difficult situations, how much you complain, how much you become negative and sour, because what's in your heart is sour. This week I encourage you, just to have a listen around the community, wherever you are; whether it's at school or work, wherever it is. Listen to how often, and how frequently, you find people complaining. You will be amazed, and when people are complaining, it tells us they have bitterness in their heart; the bitterness of being defeated, of being hurt, of injustice, of some kind of problem in their life they've never resolved. So when they face a challenge which is difficult, up comes the bitterness, out comes the flow, and out comes this complaining and negativity and all kinds of things.

Now listen. God wants you to be free of that, wants to get it out of your heart, so He allows you to go into some difficult situations; and you notice they had just had amazing deliverance, they're out of Egypt, but they forgot yesterday's blessings. They're caught up in the problems of today. I wonder how many of us have forgotten what God did in the past, forgotten the way He's helped you, forgotten the things He's done for you. You're just caught up in the injustice and unfairness of what's there right now - very easy to do that.