Got any Goliaths in Your Life?

“Thank You for Goliath”
(By Linda Hayase-reprinted with permission as below)

Jonathan, who is almost three, likes to pray. His prayers are
naturally childlike, and sometimes elicit giggles from us. On various
occasions, he has thanked the Lord for such things as his toes, the
ceiling fan, his sister’s nose and the ice cream man.

One night, after we had read aloud the familiar story of how David
had conquered Goliath, we tucked Jonathan into bed and asked if he
would like to pray. He nodded, then prayed, “Thank You for Goliath.”

I almost corrected him to say that we shouldn’t thank God for Goliath
because he was the bad guy; rather, we should thank God for David.
After all, wasn’t he the hero? I decided not to say anything but to
simply smile and kiss him good night. I didn’t want to discourage him
from praying at this early age.

Later, the Lord revealed to me that it was good and proper for
Jonathan to thank Him for Goliath. “What do you mean, Lord?” I
wondered.

Goliath, the giant that seemed inconquerable, was a big test of faith
for David. No one wanted to battle the huge Philistine, but the Lord
gave courage and a bit of pluck to young David. He was determined to
defend the name of the Lord. It didn’t matter that he had never
encountered a giant like this before. God honored his faith, and the
giant went tumbling down!

Giants test your faith, and that is a good thing.

The Israelites had a giant. A giant of a sea before them that seemed
impenetrable. The Egyptians were close behind. Moses told them to
stand still and see what the Lord would do. God parted the sea and
delivered His people. If not for the Red Sea, would the Israelites
have been able to witness the awesome power of God’s hand?

Hannah had a giant. A giant barrenness in her womb. It consumed her
every thought and it filled her with grief. She pleaded with the Lord
to give her a child, and vowed that she would dedicate it back to
Him. The Lord heard her cry, and gave her a precious son, Samuel. She
later conceived many more children, and learned that God answers
prayer exceedingly and abundantly above all we could think or ask. If
not for her infertility, would Hannah have had as deep an
understanding of God’s grace?

Naaman had a giant. A giant of a disease covering every inch of his
body. He was told to go to the Jordan River and dip himself seven
times. He resisted at first, but then realized that God was his only
hope. His obedience resulted in healing of the body and soul. If not
for his leprosy, would Naaman have met the Great Physician and
experienced His touch?

The disciples had a giant. A giant of a problem feeding 5,000 hungry
people. Where would they get the food from? Jesus taught them to
thank God first, then to share what you have even if it doesn’t seem
like much. Miraculously, a few loaves and fish fed thousands, with
abundant leftovers afterward. If not for the starving crowd, would
the disciples have learned that God provides for the needs of His
people?

I’ve had many giants in my life. Frankly, I didn’t feel thankful for
the circumstances while in the midst of them. However, I can now look
back and see that God was doing a special work in my life during
those times, a work that could only have been accomplished by
allowing me to face that particular giant.

Perhaps you are faced with a Goliath right now. Bad medical news. A
difficult marriage. Financial calamity. A prodigal child.
Overwhelming pressures. You can be filled with hope, knowing that
this giant is in your life for a purpose.

Giants test our faith, and that results in spiritual fruit. “Count it
all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing
of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2,3).

Giants teach us obedience. “It is good for me that I have been
afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71).

Giants give us empathy for those who struggle with the same
things, “that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2
Corinthians 1:4).

Giants humble our hearts that we might gain wisdom. “When pride
comes, then comes shame. But with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs
11:2).

Giants move us to prayer. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything,
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be
made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all
comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”
(Philippians 4:6,7).

Giants allow us to share in Christ’s sufferings. “Beloved, do not
think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as
though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent
that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is
revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12, 13).

Giants allow us to know God. Job, who faced giant after giant in his
life, finally could say, “I had heard about You before, but now I
have seen You with my own eyes” (Job 42:5, NLT).

Giants teach us that God is always present with us. “For I am
persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities
nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor
depth nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from
the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39).

Giants help us to realize that God is in control. “And we know that
all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who
are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

The apostle Paul had a giant. He called it a thorn–but it towered
over his life like a giant-and he asked God three times to remove it.
Then God spoke to him, saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for
My power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul then realizes that this
thorn or giant was not something to fear or detest. It was something
to rejoice over! He concludes, “Therefore I will boast all the more
gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults,
in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak,
then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10).

The reason why David was able to move against Goliath with confidence
was because he did not put his faith in himself, nor did he put his
faith in his weapons. His faith was in the Lord. He said to
Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I
come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies
of Israel, whom you have taunted.”

Where have you put your faith? Is it in your own efforts? Your own
plans? Are you tempted to run away? Or is your faith in the only One
who can save you? May it be said of us that we are moving forward in
the name of the Lord!

God is bigger and more powerful than any giant in our life! We are
able to see His mighty hand work in ways mere human hands or minds
cannot. Dewey Cass says, “When God is going to do something
wonderful, He begins with a difficulty. If He is going to do
something very wonderful, He begins with an impossibility.”

Will God always remove the giants in our life? No, He may choose in
His wisdom and sovereignty to allow the giant to remain. When He does
this, however, He also provides His strength to be victorious in the
midst of the battle.

Jesus faced a giant. The cross. He asked His Father to remove it, but
on one condition only. “Nevertheless,” He prayed, “Not My will but
Yours be done.” He wanted whatever His Father wanted, even if that
meant facing the giant.

What was the purpose of the cross? That we might enter into a
relationship with the Living God and inherit eternal life! That was
the purpose of this giant, and how thankful we should be that our
Heavenly Father allowed it until the final cry, “It is finished!”

Gratitude should fill our souls that Jesus was obedient until the
end. Because of His obedience, we are able to witness the power of
His resurrection! Because of His obedience, we have the privilege of
becoming children of God! Because of His obedience, we can overcome
the giants in our lives through Christ!

We may not understand everything that happens to us, but we can rest
in knowing that our Heavenly Father knows best. Let us lift our eyes
to heaven and say, with a childlike trust, “Thank You, Lord, for
Goliath!”

==================================================

© 2000 Linda Hayase

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