Does God intentionally lead his people into hardship? Yes! In Deuteronomy 8 he tells Israel that he let them hunger in the wilderness on purpose to reveal what was in their hearts, to humble them, and to teach them to rely entirely on him. In Matthew 4:1-4, the Spirit led Jesus to hunger and to be tempted by the Devil also. In both cases we find the statement that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of the Lord. In other words, obedience is more basic than food! When we obey the Lord in difficult ways, we experience his provision and strength and come to know in a new way his goodness. In times of comfort, the great danger is that we trust in ourselves and come to love the gifts of God more than Jesus! Instead, times of comfort and abundance should be treated with care as we maintain our reliance upon the Lord. This week...