We WILL be meeting this morning at The Fellowship. We will be UPSTAIRS in the Prayer Room of the same building as the Community Room where we normally meet.
Archives for September 2017
“Intended evil becomes intended good.” As I reread that promise, it sounds formulaic, catchy, as if destined for a bumper sticker. I don’t mean for it to. There is nothing trite about your wheelchair, empty pantry, or aching heart. These are uphill, into-the-wind challenges you are facing. They are not easy.
But neither are they random. God is not sometimes sovereign. He is not occasionally victorious. He does not occupy the throne one day and vacate it the next. “The Lord shall not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the thoughts and intents of His mind” (Jer. 30:24 AMP). This season in which you find yourself may puzzle you, but it does not bewilder God. He can and will use it for his purpose.
Case in point: Joseph in prison. From an earthly viewpoint the Egyptian jail was the tragic conclusion of Joseph’s life. Satan could chalk up a victory for the dark side. All plans to use Joseph ended with the slamming of the jail door. The devil had Joseph just where he wanted him.
So did God.
What Satan intended for evil, God used for testing. In the Bible a test is an external trial that purifies and prepares the heart. Just as a fire refines precious metal from dross and impurities, a trial purges the heart of the same.
Every day God tests us through people, pain, or problems. Stop and consider your circumstances. Can you identify the tests of today? Snarling traffic? Threatening weather? Aching joints?
If you see your troubles as nothing more than isolated hassles and hurts, you’ll grow bitter and angry. Yet if you see your troubles as tests used by God for his glory and your maturity, then even the smallest incidents take on significance.
Today’s devotional is drawn from Max Lucado’s You’ll Get Through This.
Keith B – Not Unknown
First, I hope all of you are surviving this difficult time in Houston. I know I don’t have to describe to any of you the stress, anxiety, turmoil that is present in all of our lives right now. This is one of the few times I can use you and we statements to describe the impacts of Harvey on all of our lives and our homes. Whether you have a worst case scenario or you have just been riding out the after effects, we all are balancing the conflicting and overwhelming emotions that have hit us, our families, friends, workplaces. I know one thing and one thing only in this time…He is faithful, even when I am not.
The stress and anxiety started for me personally last week, when I returned to work after a few days off to take my son to college and to care for my dad who is in hospice care in my home state. I got back to work last Monday and started the process of trying to catch up. That’s when my boss came to meet with me and let me know that she had decided that I wasn’t really a good fit for the organization and that she had determined that the company would be separating me. Welcome back!
I wish I could say I was surprised and caught off guard but I really wasn’t. I knew that my working relationship with her wasn’t going well. It wasn’t. It hadn’t since I started about 18 months ago. My first few months there were different from my last year. Because for the last year I have been in recovery. My attitude and focus on work has changed. I started approaching my work and my relationships at work much differently. Specifically, I determined to be rigorously honest, only focused on work when I was at work, and not try to manipulate or lie to anyone. Unfortunately, that had been my primary work mode in the past…lying and manipulating wherever I could for my own benefit.
I found that my work relationship with my boss didn’t improve, despite what I knew to be a change in my working behavior. I came to finally understand that I could only change my own behavior, focus on my own faults and character defects. I realize now that I previously believed that my boss and past bosses didn’t have the same type of issues that I had. That somehow they were fair, truthful and above reproach.
I look now at how I have worked over the past year. I can clearly say that I wasn’t perfect. I can clearly and honestly say that I was transparent, and open, and rigorously honest, and not manipulative. I did good work. I did the best I could. The hard part is it wasn’t enough to remain there, because that isn’t where God intends me to be. I don’t like that, not being in control of my own career and work. But that is how God wants me to be…dependent on him for everything. Turning my life and will over to the care of God…all of it. I haven’t done that yet. Not all of it…but I am moving toward Him. Not away.
I was texting my friend in recovery who had to evacuate his house. Something struck me that he said to me as he asked me and others for help. He said he was thankful that he was in recovery because prior to that he wouldn’t have asked for help. That rings true to me as well. Prior to recovery I would not have openly sought help and guidance for my next steps in my career. Now I am seeking help and guidance from God and the people He has put in my life.