Delighted in God during times of disappointment?

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When life goes in a direction I did not anticipate, I remember the words of Robert Burns, the 18th century Scottish poet, who wrote
“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men
Gang aft a-gley, (go oft awry)
And leaves us naught but grief and pain
For promised joy.”

So, what best-laid plans that you made went awry? It’s not always that big catastrophe that knocks us down is it?  Oh, losing a job, watching your marriage fall apart, or fighting with chronic pain can be hard, but sometimes what disappoints us is much more personal. It’s that stupid choice of a hurtful word that damages a friendship; or that dumb lie we tell; or that impulsive act that leaves us full of ‘naught but grief and pain!

Joseph, hero of Genesis, archetype of Jesus, met some surprises on the way to God’s promised destination! As the favored son of Jacob, he started life with great expectations. One day in a dusty desert, his jealous brothers changed everything and sold him to slavers who took him to Egypt. Game over, right? Not quite!

He persisted and found himself managing the household a rich man. Potiphar’s wife decided she wanted to sleep with the good-looking kid. His refusal earned him a false accusation of rape and a long term in prison. But, he kept on doing the right thing and God used the awful things to bring him to Pharaoh’s attention. He became Prime Minister. It was many years after that terrible day when he was torn from home and family and sold into slavery that his brothers showed up in court. When they found out who was sitting on the throne, they quaked with terror.

Now it was Joseph’s turn to be a game changer. His faithful heart is revealed in what he said to them. “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:19-20, NIV)

In the amazing way that only an all-powerful and all-knowing God can, He is able to turn those ‘surprises’ into opportunities. The Lord says, “Trust Me!” and we really should! “While I wait for God as long as he remains in hiding, while I wait and hope for him.” (Isaiah 8:17, The Message) “Yes, indeed—God is my salvation. I trust, I won’t be afraid. God—yes God!—is my strength and song, best of all, my salvation!” Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2-3, The Message)

Meditate in this Psalm for a few moments this morning.
Savor the words, pray for the Spirit to sow them deep in your soul. Then, ‘wait patiently’ for God to act.

Don’t worry about the wicked. Don’t envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like springtime flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good.

Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
” (Psalm 37:1-7, NLT)
________________

Just A Closer Walk
(Patsy Cline and Willy Nelson sing this classic)

I am weak Thou art strong
Jesus keep me from all wrong
I’ll be satisfied just as long
As I walk let me walk close to Thee

Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it Jesus is my plea
Daily walking close to thee
Let it be dear Lord let it be

When my feeble life is o’er
Time for me will be no more
Guide me gently safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore

Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it Jesus is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee
Let it be dear Lord
Let it be dear Lord
Let it be dear Lord let it be

 

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