Thursday, March 26, 2020

No Surprises to God

Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written …” Mark 14:22 

As you follow Jesus you will face moments of great distress. At times it will seem that events conspire to cause you to stumble in your relationship with Him. You do not initiate them, but they arise from opposition or the intensity of your circumstances. Nevertheless, failure is the end result. The disciples faced such fierce opposition to their Lord that they all failed Him on the night Jesus was crucified. Peter boasted that he was incapable of forsaking Jesus (Mark 14:29—31). Yet Jesus assured the disciples even before their failure that it was inevitable. The Scriptures had prophesied it. God always knew the disciples would fail His Son; He wasn't caught by surprise. He had made provision for their shortcomings, knowing He would eventually develop them into apostles who would fearlessly preach the gospel, perform miracles, and teach others. Later, when the risen Christ encountered Peter on the seashore, He did not ask Peter for a confession of his sin, but a confession of his love (John 21:15—17). You may fear that your failure has caught God by surprise. Perhaps you promised, like Peter, to stand with the Lord, but you failed. God was just as aware that you would fail Him as He was with the original disciples. He has made provision to respond every time you stumble. Don't think that somehow your failures are bigger or more complex than any God has dealt with. If you are facing challenges that seem overwhelming, don't be discouraged. God has already foreseen them and prepared for them (1 Cor. 10:13).
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Here in the United States we are 10 days into what they call the flattening of the curve concerning the China virus.  

People everywhere either are all out ignoring the order to stay home, not caring, not believing the Government or they are doing as recommended.  Sometimes somewhere in between.  

Depending on who they are the struggles in life now are very real.  Life is certainly different and will be for a long time to come.  That's what happens when man messes around with God's creation to make things they shouldn't. 

Struggles aren't necessarily failures.  Depression often sets in when people are confined.  A mandatory stay at home order can do that.  People are worried.  People having a great deal of time to think on what they do and why they were doing it. 

People are also facing themselves in the mirror.  Reading that devotional reminds me of that.  There will be many who blame themselves for not being ready for what life has become.  

The truth is God knew it was going to happen and wasn't surprised at all.  A global birth pang to me means this certainly was part of God's plans for mankind in this hour. 

I see people trying to interpret what the Government has said to fit their needs or wants.  It's defiance in all reality. 

But what do we do?  Look to God.  Quit looking to other men and women for guidance.  God wants to hear from you. 
Scripture says that one day we all will stand before Christ.  Each one of us.  On on our own.  Nobody there with us.  To give an account of our lives.  Every idle word thought or deed. 

But you're struggling?  Dear reader, we all are.  Even the likes of Billy Graham struggled.  The Apostles struggled.  Paul admits as much in the book of Romans.

At the moment they came to take Jesus, all of them ran.  Peter eventually does as he was told was going to happen. He denied Christ 3 times.  

I would be lying if I said my life didn't have moments in it when I fell flat on my face Spiritually.  I have a great many scars on me Spiritually on my face.  Each time I come back up to Jesus, He cleans me up. He restores me to Himself and we start walking again.  He forewarned us that if He suffered in this world we would too. He made no promises that it would be easy sailing after we were saved.  Quite the opposite. 

Failure isn't a identity.  It's not a description of you.  It's a label for a moment in time.  Not who you are.  Yes you will probably question everything when it happens.  But rest assured in Christ you are still God's child.  Peter was no less a child of God before, during and after his denial of Jesus.  

Life will be difficult at times.  Quit looking to man for hope.  Look to the author and perfecter of our faith.  God wasn't surprised.  Read your Bible. God always has a Plan. Mankind will not go some strange direction away from God's Plan.  
Everything is moving towards the events in the book of Revelation. 

Be encouraged.  Jesus is still proving who is on the Throne of the Universe.  Some indeed may not make it out of this situation.  But many will.  Many will come to Christ only because this situation was needed to bring them to that point. God removed a lot from the minds of people with a single virus for a reason.  He's waiting on you to talk to Him.  Get on your knees and start that conversation today. 

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