1. The Gifts You Don’t Know You Want

    December 20, 2011 by Paul Chappell

    God’s greatest gifts are sometimes wrapped in dark packages. We take one look at the package and decide we don’t want the gift. But, in reality, under the dark paper are the gifts we desperately need.

    Paul received one of these gifts. He called it “a thorn in the flesh.” And from Paul’s thorn, we learn three gifts God desires to give us through the painful times of life.


    If there was a Christian in the first century who could boast, it was Paul. He had literally been allowed to view the “third heaven”—paradise itself (2 Corinthians 12:2–4). Most Christians, allowed this privilege, would have returned and written a book about it! They would have lined up television interviews and started nation-wide seminars, “How to see Heaven and what to do when you get there”!

    Paul could have done all of this. He could have made financial profit—or at least garnered recognition and respect—from his trip to Heaven. But he didn’t. He didn’t even speak of the event except this once over fourteen years after it occurred, and even then he did it in third person. Why? (more…)

  2. How to Steward Your Trial with Grace

    November 9, 2011 by Paul Chappell

    Have you ever thought of your trial as a stewardship from God? It is. And when stewarded properly, God will use your trial to give you some of His greatest gifts.

    God has given us an incredible, amazing resource with which to steward our trials. It’s called grace.

    And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.—2 Corinthians 12:9

    If we will receive the grace which God offers during difficult seasons, we can steward our trials in a way that results in unimaginable blessings.

    So how do we steward our trial with the grace of God?

    1. Trust God’s ways.

    Faith trusts God, even when it can’t trace Him. Anyone can trust when we see how circumstances are working together for good. But when we can’t see, when it looks as if nothing good could come of our circumstances, this is when true faith is developed. (more…)