We don’t understand the whole plan

Matthew 17:22-23 Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.

To their minds it would have seemed better for Jesus to stay among them. So many were being healed and set free. The truths of the kingdom were being preached to hungry souls. Twenty or thirty more years of this kind of ministry from Jesus would have made such a difference in Israel and the surrounding regions. The thought of Him being taken away was exceedingly grievous to them and seemed like the dashing of their hopes and dreams for the kingship of Jesus. But they didn’t understand that the plan of God was far more than Jesus reigning over a nation — He was to reign over ALL the nations and that could only be accomplished through his death and resurrection. The power to preach and bring healing and deliverance was to be an indwelling reality in multitudes who could take this blessing to the farthest corners of the earth, but the Spirit of God couldn’t come and abide where the blood had not cleansed. Had they understood at that time the scope of what was about to be accomplished, their sorrow would have been overshadowed by hope.

In the same way, we find ourselves in places of discouragement when our life isn’t going as expected. The plans we had for life, family and ministry didn’t go as planned and we look upon our lives as though all that remains is to sorrowfully endure until it’s time to go to heaven. But what if your greatest disappointment is just the precursor to your greatest opportunity? What if today’s rejection ushers you into a greater walk with God, the fruits of which affect the lives of those around you? What if today’s sorrow is about to be swallowed up in tomorrow’s overpowering joy?

The plan of God almost inevitably involves suffering. But it doesn’t end there. His plan is bigger and better than you have even imagined. Today, let your sorrow be overwhelmed by hope.

 

Helpless, but not hopeless

There are times when life becomes painful, seemingly beyond what you can bear.  Circumstances beyond your control insinuate themselves into your life and as your mind is reeling over your inability to fix things and your heart is churning with emotions that threaten to overwhelm, you wonder how you will make it through this.

This is a description of my life today.

I don’t think I have ever felt myself to be in such a helpless position as I am right now.   At times I have felt like all I can do it sit and stare at the wall.  Incapable of acting, incapable of thinking and often incapable of praying.  Sometimes there just aren’t words.

The tendency of my personality is to get lost in my own thoughts, a futile replaying of events, which always leads to despair.   I have felt myself drifting that way and I know I cannot go there.  I must be able to pray.  I must be able to get the ear of God.  But how?  How can I reach so high when I am so low?  So weak?  So helpless?

“Though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly”  Psalm 138:6
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart” Psalm 34:18
“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy.”  Psalm 33:18

What a comfort this is to me!  What a source of hope!  I may be helpless, but I am not hopeless.  My God has not promised to make everything in my life the way I would like it to be, but He has promised that throughout the duration of it, He will be with Me.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Right now I am utterly and completely weak.  But He is always infinitely and eternally strong.  This is truth that brings rest to a weary soul.

“But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.  And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked and save them, because they trust in Him.”  Psalm 37:39-40

The pain remains great, but His word brings hope that it will not always be like this.