I would like to share this story with you about a girl named Mary. I feel that it will be a great help to you in your walk with the Lord. As we see the experiences that she went through we can be encouraged that God is surely with us!

     Mary knelt beside her bed one night and gave her heart to Jesus. She asked Him to lead and guide her in her life. The next morning she felt different, she knew that God had heard her prayer and He had certainly come into her heart.  She was very excited and happy. Each day was a new adventure for her! Surely this NEW life in God was going to be everything she had hoped it would be.  And it was for quite a long time.

     Then things started to  happen in her life that wasn't quite what she expected! First the company she worked for, went out of business and she was stuck looking for a new job. Then she got behind on her bills because she was out of work. And then to top it all off someone smashed her car windows and had stolen her car! What was happening? Mary thought, " This isn't what I signed up for with God!"  This isn't supposed to be happening to me... I'm a child of God!"  “Everything is supposed to go along smooth in my life now..... what  happened!"  Mary was very upset.

    She surely did not expect this to happen to her NOW. She began to question the Lord. When she opened her Bible, it turned to II Corinthians chapter 4 verse 7. This is what it said," But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of Christ and not of us. We are TROUBLED on every side, yet not distressed, we are PERPLEXED, but not in despair; PERSECUTED, but not forsaken; CAST DOWN, but not destroyed;  always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh."  Mary could not believe what she had just read! You mean that we can still have troubles even though were the children of the Almighty God! This was very contrary to what she believed, but surely she had been experiencing these very things.

     The next evening was Bible study night at her friends house. Mary was still confused about what had been happening to her, so her friends decided to look into God's Word and see if they could find help for their friend. Suddenly the verses began to come one after another,

     Daniel 31:6." BE STRONG and courageous. Do not be afraid for the LORD your God goes with you; he will NEVER leave you nor forsake you."

     Joshua 1:9 "Have I not command you? BE STRONG,  and courageous. do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go."

     2 Chr. 15:7, " But as for you, BE STRONG, and do not give up, for the work will be rewarded."

      Psalms 27:14: "Wait for the LORD; BE STRONG and take heart and wait for the LORD!"

      I Cor. 16:13, " Be on guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage; BE STRONG."

     Eph. 6:10 "Finally BE STRONG in the Lord and in His mighty power."

     Mary was beginning to get the message that the Lord was trying to tell her. Then she came upon the scripture in II Corinthians chapter 4 and verse 17:  "For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight  of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal: but the things that are not seen are eternal." Now she understood, these things were happening to her for her good. They were God's way of teaching Mary to be strong and trust in Him.

     God uses our troubles to help make us strong in Him. By putting our trust in Him and surrendering ourselves to His will in our lives we become strong. Not of our own doing, but the power is of God. By having this knowledge worked within us, we learn to trust in our Father and see His Wonderful hand at work in our lives and the lives of those around us.

     Everything worked out for Mary. She ended up with a new job, better than the one she had before, making even more money and she got a new car.

     So if your life lately seems to be going like Mary's,  remember BE STRONG!  Trust in Him, and know that our  troubles are only for a while and they are doing a work in us that will be eternal. So hang in there and BE STRONG in the Lord!
Story By:
Brenda Beaty
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