Your Problem is for Your Promise

When God allows your enemy to linger, you can rest assured that it is for your good. If you are obeying the Lord and you run into an obstacle, know that God will use your obstacle as an instrument of blessing. If God has given you a promise but all you see is a problem, trust that God is using the problem to fulfill the promise.

Photo by katiebyers

As the Israelites found themselves in the wilderness between their captivity and their promise, they received a word from the Lord (Exodus 23). He assured them that He was going to bring them into their promise but presently, their promise was possessed by their problems. “Don’t be concerned about the problems,” he told them, “ I will take care of the problems.” However, God wasn’t going to do it like man would do it; He had a plan for the problem.

God told them that He was not going to drive their enemy out in one fast and fatal campaign because if He did, the land would become desolate and the animals of the field would become too numerous. God had a different plan for Israel’s enemies, He was going to drive them out little by little so that they could prepare the promise for His people.

Israel’s enemies were not in the land to defeat them. They were there to bless them. God told His people that they were going to live in houses and cities that they had not built and they were going to eat from vineyards that they had not planted. Who do you think was going to build their houses? Who do you think was going to plant their vineyards? Their enemy was!

Have faith! Take your eyes off of your enemy. Stop focusing on your obstacle. Don’t worry about your problem; God is using your problem to fulfill His promise!

This Spot Is Taken (I Don’t Want No Trouble)

Job 14:1 “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.” (ESV)

Trouble is the common denominator of all mankind.  Certainly, we would not even debate that the human family has adversity, calamity, sorrow, distress, anxiety, worry, fear, and despair.  All we need to do is read the news or talk to our neighbor to realize that trouble is all around us.  I would venture to guess that many of you reading this are faced with some kind of trouble in your life at this very moment.  If not, you will be very soon.  Trouble, at some degree and at some time, touches every life.

But that is only the bad news.

I am so happy that as much as there is a Job 14:1, there is also a John 14:1!

John 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled.” – Jesus

Notice, He did not say that you would not have trouble.  Actually, He was saying quite the opposite.  He was telling His disciples that they would be hated by men for His namesake.  So what was Jesus saying? 

He was letting His disciples know that even when life is full of trouble, our hearts don’t have to be.

Trouble may be all around you, but don’t let it get in you.  Things may look hopeless, but keep on hoping.  Circumstances may look grim, but don’t let it affect your attitude.

Your heart was not meant for trouble.  Your heart was meant for Him.  Trouble and the Holy Ghost won’t make good roommates.  Not even if you put them up in opposite corners of your heart.

So next time trouble comes knockin’, looking for a place to stay.  Just tell trouble…

…”This Spot Is Taken”

Epic

I love epic tales of adventure; stories full of trials, struggles, battles, victories, defeats, and triumph.  I am easily caught up in classic epics like Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and yes, even Star Wars!  Stories like these have so many parallels into the very real “plot” of our lives.  When I read (or watch) these stories I tend to imagine myself as one of the characters.  I relish in the adventure lived vicariously through heroes like William Wallace, Benjamin Martin, and Maximus Decimus Meridius (Braveheart, The Patriot, and Gladiator).  Yet, more often than not, I fail to display the same courage which I admire in these characters when faced with reality.

Rather than stand in the face of adversity and uncertainty, I tend to complain and doubt.  All too often, my problems and my worries knock the wind out of me and rob me of my fight.  In all reality I must admit, if my life was an epic tale, there would probably be no young men admiring me and imagining that they could be so heroic.

Why do I fail so often to bravely face life’s difficulties and my failures?  Because I forget that my life is part of and Epic Story!

All too often, I forget that the story of my life is only a small part of the reality of Him.  My view of my life narrows and becomes limited to my years on this earth.  I forget that one day, I will ride in behind the King, surrounded a great host, as he subdues all of His enemies!  I will reign and rule with Him in His Kingdom for 1,000 years!  And when He defeats the final enemy at the end of that 1,000 years, I will dwell in Heaven with Him forevermore!

When I think about that, I realize that every day, every moment in this world is a preparation for (and a part of) this great adventure!  All of a sudden, my problems and worries don’t seem like that big of a deal.  My doubts and fears  no longer hold the same power over me.  After all, I am on the winning side!  Truth shall triumph!

Epic.