Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- June 25, 2010
Temporary Setbacks…“They went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop. Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill…” Ezra 4:23b-24a
Don’t give up. You may be facing a temporary setback, but God’s purposes will not be thwarted. It may seem like life is on hold and everything has come to a stand still. You have worked so hard to get to this point and it looks like the opportunity has vanished. Hold it with an open hand. It may have disappeared.
If so, God has something better. What the Lord initiates, He accomplishes. He hasn’t forgotten about you or your circumstances. This is a temporary setback. It is a good time for you to catch your breath and reflect on the great things He has done thus far. You have been running hard. Pause, rest and reflect. Prepare for the next stage of personal and professional growth. We do not need to venture into opportunities for which our character has not been prepared. Maybe this is God’s pause to prepare you for your next steps. The last thing you want is to move forward without the depth of wisdom, patience, relationships and finances needed to complete the project.
“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house” (Proverbs 24:7).
The motive of your adversaries is to crush your project, but God is taking what was meant for evil and using it for good. The unfair criticism of others is a cheap way to distract you. Ignore their insults. Immature people act immature. Do not lower yourself to their level of behavior. Otherwise you may never get out. You may become stuck by spinning your wheels on being defensive. Focus on God, not your distracters.
“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20).
He is the one who has led you this far, and He is the one who wil l lead you through to completion. If everything was easy we might take God’s blessings for granted. Or, we might forgo gratitude to God and begin to believe we are in control. However, in reality He knows what is best. He knows how to align everyone’s hearts around His will.
He may eventually use the endorsement, resources and relationships of your biggest critics. Obstacles become opportunities. Adversaries become advocates. Critics become cheerleaders. Enemies become emissaries. And setbacks become a tremendous springboard for God’s will. Take heart and keep your head up. It is the darkest before the dawn. God’s purposes will not be thwarted. Believe it and watch Him work.
“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
What setback do I need to see as temporary and trust the Lord to see me through?
Related Readings: Deuteronomy 7:9; Isaiah 49:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 3:6
Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God
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Not sure that I agree with this. Sounds hopeful and encouraging, but the reality is that many folks will never align around God’s heart and God’s agenda because they are in bondage to self-interest and are incapable of anything other than a self-promoting, self-protecting agenda. This bondage to self crucifies the Spirit of Christ, although it masquerades as ministry/Christianity. This is the reality that exists in many churches and Christian communities, and unless and until the Spirit of God reveals the bondage to the persons enslaved by it, they will remain blind to it, and will continue to be persecutors, thwarters, and crucifiers of Jesus, all the while thinking they are doing the work of God. The religious leaders continue today to be the very ones who crucify Jesus just as in Jesus’ day. Sometimes it requires the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit to recognize the environments that are blind to pride, to sin, and unwilling to be humbled. Sometimes the wisest thing a person can do is to shake the dust off your feet and seek an environment where the Spirit of Christ is seen, understood, desired and sincerely sought. Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
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