“God still wants to use you.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 2, 2023
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36
I once met a woman named Rosemary who was angry and disappointed over a friend’s success. “She is receiving promotion after promotion. She is doing in her ministry career what I want to do in mine. I have prayed. I have asked God to help me use my gifts and talents serving Him the same way she is serving Him, but nothing has happened. Any time I try anything, I get shut down. I feel like God has forgotten me and I don’t have any value in the body of Christ.”
As I spoke with Rosemary, I realized she was missing three important truths:
First, God doesn’t grant anyone favor simply based on our performance (or prayers). And, if we think he should, we may struggle with deep anger and disappointment. Instead, He will give us what is best for us. And that may mean He doesn’t give us what He gives someone else.
In his book, The Prodigal God, Timothy Keller writes:
If you think goodness and decency is the way to merit a good life from God, you will be eaten up with anger, since life never goes the way we wish. You will always feel you are owed more than you are getting. You will always see someone doing better in some aspect of life and ask, ‘Why this person and not me? After all I’ve done!’ This resentment is your own fault. It is caused not by the prosperity of the other person, but by your own effort to control life through your performance.
Next, God gives His children different assignments.
The kingdom of God is like a farmer’s field and each of us has been given a patch to work and to tend. One person has been given a large patch; another has been allotted a smaller assignment. One person works in a noticeable part of God’s field, another in a less visible part. One person works here; another works there. But all assignments are important.
Rosemary failed to see that God’s grace—or His unmerited favor—empowers us to do what He has assigned us to do. But where grace is absent, you won’t be able to move that mountain. That means that while others around you may be gifted to serve in one way, you will be gifted to serve in another.
If you have ever felt you have gotten short changed, don’t waste your precious time envying someone else’s accomplishments. Know that the Lord has a plan for you to serve Him in a unique way.
Finally, if God closes the door, He still wants to use you.
As Keller mentioned, life never entirely goes the way we wish. When it doesn’t, and when God closes doors, it means He has plans to use us in other ways. No one is ineffective. We all have value. We all have a patch of field in God’s Kingdom to work and as we submit to His plans, He will show us the way to serve Him best.
If you can relate to this message, will you serve the way God desires and submit to His plan? Will you let go of the notion that He must love others more who are doing what you want to do? Will you trust that you are deeply loved, valuable and priceless to Him?
“For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back” (Isaiah 14:27)?
Lord, help me to not look about with envying eyes or believe that you don’t care about me because I am not serving the way I want. Remind me that my favor is not in what I do. It’s in my relationship with you. You love me just because I am your child. Amen.
If you feel overlooked by God, confess this to Him and spend some time listening to see how He would speak to you.
Bethel Music, Jenn Johnson, feat. Michaela Gentile: Let My Life Be Worship
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