Do you ever find yourself in a very difficult circumstance that you don’t understand, that you don’t feel has any purpose, that goes against everything you feel God may be doing in your life right now, that doesn’t seem fair? You pray passionately and earnestly and you have an idea of how God is going to resolve it but nothing changes, or things turn out completely different than you wanted even worse? You find yourself questioning God “How can this be a part of God’s plan for my life” and you become totally engulfed by the issue in your life letting it dominate your thoughts. You may even get angry at God for allowing this to continue, when you see how He could resolve the whole issue?
Well don’t feel like you are strange or lacking in faith some of the greatest on God’s list acted the same way, it doesn’t mean you are bad or rejected because it is a very human reaction to pain and struggle. What it can mean is that we are probably hiding our deepest motivation for life, even from ourselves, that we are truly not centered on loving and serving God as we should, we are truly not wanting to accept His will in our lives, but strongly seeking our own.
In doing so we may be missing much of God’s entire plan for our lives, not to mention His joy. Let’s take a look at some examples from the Word which shows us the biblical answer to how we should deal with these moments. We’ll take a look of a couple examples in scriptures that is usually not studied in scriptures and see God’s powerful examples.
Naaman was a commander in the army of Syria, a country often at war against Israel. He knew little about the God of Israel but he was a good and courageous man. His king called him a great and honorable man, he was the only gentile in scripture to be called a mighty man of valor by God himself. When Naaman came down with leprosy an Israelite slave told him of God’s ability to heal him. The Syrian king sent a letter to the Israelite king with equivalent of over 1 million dollars for him to be healed. The Israelite king sent Naaman to the prophet Elisha….
2 Kings 5:8-14
Naaman travelled to another land, with a great deal of money, showing much faith in the God of Israel but he had his own ideas of hoe God would work before he even got there! He had his own ideas of how he should be treated with special treatment and honor he would receive when he arrived. God did not work according to Naaman’s plan, nor did Naaman receive the immediate stroking of his ego that he had expected.
Why? God had to show Naaman that he would not be healed because of his great strength and position but because of the power and love of God, that God worked in His Own way to show His Own Honor and Own Glory.
2 Kings 5:15-19
Naaman almost missed God’s plan because it wasn’t the way he had decided it should be therefore he didn’t even think it could be of God. What if Naaman would have done what we often do and given up on God because His timing and ways did not match what Naaman expected? What if Naaman remained too insulted and offended because God didn’t allow the world to revolve around him and his need.
The whole reason for the entire situation in Naaman’s life was not just healing, not just for God to get the glory at the end, but for Naaman to be changed, in his view of God’s position and authority, in his trust God was wiser and bigger than any plans Naaman had for himself, and in his being humbly subjected and in love with God.
In order for God to work Naaman had to approach God with open hands, open heart, and a open mind. Giving all hope and control to Him and let God be God.
On to Joseph…. He was sold into slavery at seventeen, he lived faithfully and obediently to God and to men as an unwilling slave, only to be thrown into the worst prison possible for something he hadn’t done. Thirteen years he lived in slavery and hard times with no hope in sight. God did not act how or when Joseph wanted Him to act yet Joseph remained faithful and obedient, trusting God even when it didn’t make sense or seem fair, and from this God was able to save and grow a nation.
What an incredible plans might God have for your obedience in your trials! Instead of questioning Him, dwelling on the unfairness, trying to figure out what an unfathomable God is doing, you would just pray with total confidence and an open heart, truly trusting Him that He is working, whether or not you understand and take the journey in peace and joy.
So often we react to our circumstance with fear, anxiety, hopelessness an even anger towards God. Sometimes we do not have because we do not ask in faith, ask in selfishness, or we are living in sin; but just like Job we may be walking with God trying to do His will, not being selfish or sinful and things happen in your life that seem unfair or unpredictable. You pray in faith but nothing changes, what we see is so confusing and truly unfair. This is actually the scriptural foundation for how God works in our lives if we are sold out and given to His purpose and will!
2 Corinthians 5:15
God does not grow you in anyway if your life is perfect and placid in every way. God does not receive any glory or show any power and love if He is not needed to handle something that is larger than us. God does not become real or valuable in the eyes of the world until the world sees us trust Him in the hardest of times.
On a very dark night the human eye can see the flickering light of a candle 30 miles away. On a stormy night when the lights go out what is suddenly invaluable? A lit candle! When the world sees us lean on Him when times are hard when the world has failed, when they see Him as an Anchor, a valuable Gemstone that the world doesn’t have in times of trouble. When they see He is more precious than anything we lose or suffer in this life, that is when our lives have been given to serve Christ, and that may mean times that walking in His will is designed to take us through the darkest of times. What that means to us if we want to walk in His will we have to stop believing in a God we don’t trust, we have to relinquish the control of our will, know that we have died to our own lives and plans, stop looking at our own logic, our own wisdom, our own ideas of what God should do, not praying expecting our own expectations and trying to make God answer according to those expectations.
When we pray , when we look at the event of our lives, we need to adopt a very different but biblical mindset of wanting His will over our desires, wanting to live faithfully and courageously through tough times as desperately as we want them to be removed. We need to humbly pray that God would help us to seek and see His will, rather than pray for our own will to be done, to ask God what we can learn, how we can glorify Him and do this as passionately as we are asking to be delivered.
True submission to God’s will is trusting the future enough to focus on the now for His glory, because the now is most often where the real purpose in your trials may lie.
Our mission, or faith, our growth, our example, to the world often comes to a pinnacle in the middle of our darkest hours, they are the reason the whole trial was allowed and orchestrated.
Our passion should intensify in difficult times, we should embrace our purpose and live strong rather than shrink back and beg for release, it’s ok to ask for deliverance but until it comes our mission should be clear.
The biggest reason many Christians are quick to become overwhelmed trying to walk in the will of God is because we are wanting to be served more than being willing to serve, being a servant means to inconvenient yourself to meet the needs of others. Jesus always knew the will of the Father and always accomplished it because He came into this world to serve others, and we have been saved to do the same. God will almost always call us to put Him and others first in our thoughts and actions. When that shift in focus occurs it is no longer being put out, inconvenienced, or suffering through it is another opportunity to serve God and others in showing our faith! Read this well known verse…..
Trust in the Lord; not when it makes sense, not when it’s advantageous, but in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!!!
Don’t get frayed when your limited ideas are not followed, don’t try to figure it all out for Him, be ready and trusting and you’ll be amazed by His ways!
The word acknowledge here in Hebrew is yada’, it means to care about, to know, observe, recognize. In everything we do and experience we are to know His heart, recognize and care about what He would want in our situation, and understand our purpose in His eyes. He then will make our paths straight and help us see what our next step must be.
Sometimes you can’t tell real fruit from fake until you squeeze it, God and the world will taste of the cup you fill when you are squeezed. Is there enough nourishment in your cup for others?
If you are serious about seeking, finding and doing the will of God we must realize that will always include difficult times, uncomfortable places, and servitude to others. So, do you really want to know His will? If so you must willing embrace these things and not shirk away in fear and doubt. Know this, there is no more peaceful place on Earth than in His will, no matter what it is or where it takes you. Live each troubled time, each moment of struggle and doubt as a mission to embrace the King, rather than a misery to be endured until the release.
Your flame on flickers at night, your actions fill the cup of the King.
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