“I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.” Mark 8:2
It is interesting for me to read in Mark chapter 8 that Jesus allowed the people following him to go without food for three days. They must have been starving and would have loved if he would have given them food on day one. But he didn’t.
How often is that like us (ME)? We want God to answer NOW. We face certain trials and ask God to remove them right away. We posses a great need and want God to provide it right away. When God doesn’t answer immediately, we get frustrated, weary, and even upset with God. The worst part of all is that it begins to put a wedge in between us and God. The wedge doesn’t come from God’s side (He never does that) but from ours.
My encouragement is this:
Ask of God always for everything your heart desires (see Matt 7:7). Then just wait and be patient. This is not an easy task and one that I personally struggle with. But when I struggle with my patience I read of the lives of Moses and the Israelites searching for the promised land, the life of Paul (especially in prison), and even these people following Jesus in Mark chapter 8 (starving for food). None of those circumstances were satisfied overnight and in some cases, it didn’t happen for many years. And like them, we may wait a long time for God to meet our need(s).
But God will provide. And the best news of all is that even if we don’t get what we want in this present life, Jesus will make it worth every second we waited once he returns.
I think every Christian has walked a path in which they started second guessing whether it was God leading or them pushing. We pray and seek God’s wisdom. We ask for advice from trusted people in our circles. We slowly step down the path. Then there comes a time when it isn’t going the way we thought it would. Now what?
I am there right now. Through much prayer and advice, I followed a path I felt God orchestrated. But as I am walking, I am doubting myself. Did I want it so bad that I thought I heard God’s direction and now I should stop? Or was it really God leading and I just need to keep going?
This blog post is just me thinking out loud. I actually hope to hear from readers. Share your experiences and offer any advice you believe to be sound.
As for me now, I sit and wait. I pray harder. I trust my initial decision was right and not only will God continue to lead me down this path, but He will rid me of my doubt.
I am so thankful to know that God’s will for my life is perfect. Even when I don’t have it figured out, He already has!
I was having a conversation with a Christian friend tonight about the trials we are both going through. As business owners, we are seeing some very tough times. I personally cannot seem to get off the ground and he cannot sustain consistent revenue. It would be easy for either of us to question God. We go to church, we read our Bible, we pray every day, and we live our lives for Jesus. Here is where I quote Jeremiah 29:11 (below). So why isn’t God hooking our businesses up? Well when it comes to Jeremiah 29:11, the translation that’s often quoted isn’t really accurate. Let me show you a comparison.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. NIV 84
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ESV
We all want to quote the NIV because it sounds so much better. “Plans to prosper”. Prosper relates to success which we relate to finances. The problem is, that that translation just isn’t accurate and gives us a false sense of who God is. God loves us and God provides for us. But providing doesn’t mean abundance of wealth when it comes to God. The better translation shows more accurately that God wants to give us peace and comfort in Him, in spite of what our success looks like.
Once I begin to understand who God really is, I see that His purpose is to show me that my life is amazing regardless of my success. And even greater, when I don’t have success and all the goodies that come with it I have more time to focus on Jesus. All my “stuff” used to bring me joy, now my Jesus brings me joy.
Without a doubt, I’m better off this way!