The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you. -Unknown
I sat in church this past Sunday, listening to a guest preacher, who had preached at our church on numerous occasions. I realized the message that I was listening to was one that I heard preached before. My first thought was, “gosh he must not have any more sermons, he’s already repeating.” But then my ignorance left me and I said, “this must be something that God really wants me to hear.” So I just began to listen, the guest preacher read the words of Lamentations 3:21-22 and titled the message, “When Hope Finds Courage.” But me being who I am, I could not shake the fact that this felt like deja vu. So I switched gears and went to the index of my study Bible and looked up the word coincidence. It took me to Ruth 2:20 and Esther 6:1-2.
Now at first read of Ruth 2:20 I didn’t understand why this was chosen. So I looked at the commentary at the bottom of the page. A few things stood out to me. First it said,“though Ruth may not have always recognized God’s guidance in her life, He had been with her every step of the way.” A few lines down it also says, “we must not close the door on what God can do. For the believer, events do not occur by luck or coincidence.” I knew then that there was a reason this guy was preaching a sermon that I had heard him preach previously. But what was it?
I kept searching and Esther 6:1-2 spoke about the King reading of Mordecai’s good deedin the book of records. Coincidence? Of course not, it was God at work. We don’t take the time to notice it but God is continuously working in our lives. Stopping and smelling the roses is not something that I am always interested in doing. I get a little selfish and want things my way. And if they are not going the way I want them to go, I get tunnel vision and I can only focus on why this thing is not going how I think it should. Not seeing that God is working something out in my life.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV
Yes we all know the verse but how many of us actually believe it? I’ve heard people say, “seeing is believing.” But if we do not take time to notice God working, we can’t see it. So do we not believe the words that are in Romans 8:28? I must say, there have been moments where I did not fully believe that things would work out for my good. I could not see the bright side of the situation. I found no hope in the place I was at. I only found more problems and reasons to complain.
I eventually ended up reading Ephesians 3:11-13.
11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored. Ephesians 3:11-13 NLT.
And it finally hit me, these moments in my life are not for me. These trials, tribulations, suffering and pain. Have nothing to do with me. Even the good times, the joy, the happiness, and the love. There is a young woman (maybe even man) who needs me to minister to them. They need to hear my testimony, the journey that God has placed me on. And through this, that person will draw nearer to the Lord. They can witness the work He has been doing in my life. Paul told the Ephesians that he was suffering for them. As we all will go through things, in order to reach out and help the next person. I am learning daily the errors in my ways in order to allow God to work in me and correct them, or rid me of them altogether.
Was it a coincidence that the preacher repeated that sermon? No, it was because God knew where that would lead me. He was trying to speak to me through His Word. I am embracing my trials so that my Adonai can get the glory for bringing me through.
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 NKJV
Please my sister or my brother, do not grow weary. There is a reason for everything, and although we don’t always understand it we must not become disobedient or loose faith. God has us all in the palm of His hand and He controls everything. Just as Job was tested and put through some things, we will go through it as well. Be encouraged and continuously look to the Lord for all of your needs.
I love you all, but God loves you so much more.