It’s easy to believe that God is working things in your favor when things in your life are going right. When things aren’t going according to your plan, it becomes more difficult to believe that. We often see problems and road blocks in our lives as hindrances to God’s plan, but I believe God uses all of them to grow us and to put us on the right path so His plan for our life can be accomplished. God’s plan for our lives rarely takes the path of least resistance.
In the hardest times of my life, I couldn’t see God’s hand working. I was so focused on the pain and the problems that I questioned if God even knew what was going on. I cried out constantly for Him to make it all go away, but He knew what He was doing. He created a raw dependence on Him which led to a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with Him. He understands that hard times bring us closer to Him and make us stronger. In fact, some of His greatest work in our lives happen when we see His hand the least.
Romana 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT). He doesn’t just cause some things to work together. He causes everything in our lives to work together for our good. There is a purpose in problems. There is hope in uncertainty. God is behind the scenes working on your behalf even when we’re blinded by our situation. His plan for our lives will come to pass, and it will be to our benefit. We just have to trust even when we can’t see what He’s doing.
Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
If you ever get a personal email from me, my usual signature is, “Choose to make it a great day!” I’ve learned that if you don’t choose your attitude, either your day or someone else will. I know what it’s like to live under Murphy’s Law where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I had a day once where I was driving about 600 miles. On the way, my car spun out during a snow storm. I ended up 50 feet from the road sunk in mud that was up to my knees. After getting wrenched out, my heater quit working. I got a drive through coffee, but it spilled in my lap looking like I wet my pants. Then both headlights went out at the same time. The store only had one, so I replaced just one. I then got pulled over by the police for having only one headlight. That was a bad day.
I can tell you that it’s hard to have a good attitude on a day like that, but I’ve learned that if I don’t, I can get on a streak of bad days. We tend to bring things into our lives that are most in line with our thoughts and attitude. How we choose to see the world determines what we focus on. If we’ve got a bad attitude, we’ll see all the negative things happening to us. If we choose a good attitude, we’ll see the good around us. As Christians, we need to remember that all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). Even when bad things come into our life, knowing that God can work it out for our good can change our attitude.
Proverbs 15:15 says, “Everything seems to go wrong when you feel weak and depressed. But when you choose to be cheerful, every day will bring you more and more joy and fullness” (TPT). I like to start each day quoting David, “This IS the day that the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!” When things go wrong, I repeat it. When multiple things go wrong, I stop and pray for God to open my eyes to see what He wants me to find in it, and to give me the strength to endure. We can have joy on the worst of our days by the mental choices we make, praying for God’s help and meditating on His Word.
We all know the saying, “When it rains it pours.” Somehow when bad things happen, the sky seems to let loose and we struggle to find a ray of sunshine. There are times when those days of rain turn into weeks, months and sometimes years. We can get caught up in a cycle of bad things happening to the point that we forget what it’s like to experience God’s goodness. During those times it’s easy to want to give up or even to quit hoping for the sun to shine again. In those times, it’s important to submerse yourself in God’s Word to help you pray and to find hope again.
One of the scriptures I stand on and pray when bad things continuously happen is Isaiah 59:19. It says, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. (AMP)” When bad things keep happening and I’m beginning to feel like I’m going to drown because there is so much bad news, I ask God to raise up a standard against the enemy who is coming to attack me. I pray that God would deflect the attack and help me to get my head above water again.
I also like to turn to the Psalms. David was a man who was constantly under attack and he recorded some great prayers asking God to help him. One of my favorites is found in Psalm 54:1. David’s prayed, “Come with great power, O God, and rescue me! Defend me with your might.” David understood what we need to understand. The battle is not ours, but the Lord’s. Pray that He would come defend you against the attacks of the enemy and rescue you. God is our rock and our fortress in times of need. Run to Him and allow Him to defend you.
Another one I pray is from Isaiah 54:17. God said, “But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgement you shall show to be in the wrong. This peace, righteousness, security and triumph over the opposition is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. (AMP)” That word “prosper” simply means to succeed. No matter what the enemy brings against you, he will not succeed because you are a servant of God and it is your heritage to have peace and security in the bad times.
As a Christian, you are going to face hard times. You are going to see some dark days. That doesn’t mean that you are out of God’s will or not His servant. Jesus said the rain falls on the good and the bad. The biggest difference is that you and I have a God who will rise to the challenge on our behalf. We serve the One who is made strong in our weakness. Quit trying to fight the battles in your own strength and rely on His. Pray His Word over your life and your situation and rest in the peace that God will work out whatever is going on to your benefit.