The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Many today don't make progress because they easily give up, complain a lot, give excuses, count losses, are afraid of making mistakes, or get accustomed to problems because of repeated ugly occurrences. Seeing problems only from the negative dimension blinds us completely from seeing avenues for growth and proving ourselves.

Do you know that moments of tribulation are ample time God permits to bring out the best in us, making us innovative, grow and improve? Do you wish to know how to use ugly situations for your advantage, then continue reading slowly...

1 Kings 17:10-16
Elijah the Prophet went off to Sidon. And when he reached the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks; addressing her he said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a vessel for me to drink.’ She was setting off to bring it when he called after her. ‘Please’ he said ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.’ But Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, go and do as you have said; but first make a little scone of it for me and bring it to me, and then make some for yourself and for your son. For thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel:
“Jar of meal shall not be spent,
jug of oil shall not be emptied,
before the day when the Lord sends
rain on the face of the earth.”’
The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.
1. Child of God, without the knowledge of the miracle at the end of this story, we would condemn Elijah as being inconsiderate, and God will share in the blame as well for sending Elijah to a poor widow rather than a rich family. But as Jesus would say in Luke 4:25-26: "there were many widows (and we may add, rich men) in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon." Why this poor widow, we may ask? 
2. The poor widow is symbolic. She represents the struggle between the forces of life and death. She also represents the vicissitudes of life: hunger, thirst, lack of resources, insecurity, financial problems, sickness, etc, that confronts us everyday, leaving us with opportunities to make determining choices. She had before her two choices in the midst of problems: to live or to die! She equally had two opportunities: either to be a good person (by being generous) or be a bad person (by being stingy). She chose to die being generous, and God blesses her generosity with plenty, and raises her dead son through the instrumentality of Elijah (1Kgs 17:17-24)
3. Problems always creates opportunities, to do something good or bad: opportunity to prove yourself as true disciples or to compromise. As Christians, we are called to use tribulations for our advantage: to prove our faithfulness and love for God. It offers us  opportunity to go deeper in our Divine- encounter. Many great men of old used moments of their tribulation to their advantage. For instance, Joseph used his moments of tribulations to his advantage. He discovered God more and began to understand his dreams and interpret dreams (cf Gen 37; 39; 40).
TASK: Are you going through hardships now? If yes, there's something God want to bring out in you. That thing, or that quality is necessary for your Spiritual growth, that you may operate in a higher dimension. To achieve it, desire Prayer, Meditation and Thanksgiving. 
Pray Psalm 146 now, asking the Lord to turn your sorrows into joys and your disappointments into appointments. 

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