July 9, 2007

Circumstances can be Misleading

Sharon Jaynes

 

 

Today’s Truth

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

 

Friend to Friend

While God speaks through our circumstances, it can be very dangerous to depend on what we see to make decisions. We should never interpret Scripture through the lens of our circumstances, but rather interpret our circumstances through the lens of Scripture. For example, if you pray for someone to be healed and they are not, you cannot interpret that to mean that God does not heal. The Bible shows us time and time again that God does heal. The interpretation of that circumstance is that God is Sovereign and in that instance chose not to heal.

 

Paul gives us a wonderful example of how circumstances could be misleading. Paul knew that he was called to spread the gospel to the Gentiles. God spoke to Paul through a person, Ananias. “But the Lord said to Anaias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’” (Acts 9”15). Paul knew he was called for a certain task; however, he met opposition at every turn.

 

He wrote: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one, Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Now I don’t know about you, but if all this had happened to me, I would begin to doubt whether I had heard God correctly. See, my tendency is to judge whether I heard God’s voice according to the success or failure of my circumstances. But this isn’t God’s perspective.

 

We cannot always interpret seemingly negative circumstances as failure of hearing God’s voice correctly. Jesus heard God’s voice perfectly and yet went to the cross. Joseph heard God’s voice clearly in a dream, and yet was sold into slavery and thrown in prison. Sometimes the puzzle pieces of our lives may seem ragged and ill-shaped, but each piece fits perfectly into place when God is choreographing the design.

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I will admit that I don’t always understand Your ways, but I do know that You are loving and that You are good. Help me to base my faith on Your Word and not my interpretation of circumstances. You are Sovereign, O Lord, and for this I praise Your name.

 

Now it’s Your Turn

Have there been times when you have prayed and God’s answer was no?

 

That’s a silly question. Of course, you have. God wouldn’t be God if He gave us every thing we wanted. So here is the real question…In those times when God did not answer your prayer as you had hoped, did you redefine God by your circumstance or did you redefine your circumstance by your God.

 

That will take a little pondering.

 

More from the Girlfriends

God does speak to us through our circumstances, but we must always filter those circumstances through the Word of God – the Bible. If you would like to learn more about how to see God working in your everyday life, see Sharon’s book, Becoming a Woman who Listens to God.

 

 

Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106

www.girlfriendsingod.com

 

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