March 9th, 2018 — IGNITE

Nobody likes setbacks. As a matter of fact, many people don’t like hindrances, obstacles, stumbling blocks, or whichever way you choose to phrase it. We are adverse to anything that impedes our direction.

Many times we find ourselves being so consumed with just trying to survive that we, in a sense, forget how to live. We are only surviving, not thriving. We get so caught up in everything happening that we miss the message God has laid so plainly before us. We fight trying to understand why it always happens to us and why it always happens now, that it’s easier to focus on the stuff rather than God and what He’s doing.

Right about now, you’re probably asking, then how am I supposed to understand why I’m not succeeding at the place God sent me to? I mean I can’t make heads or tails out the situation. You can’t make sense of why God would bring you this far and then allow everything to crumble right before your very eyes. Or why He waited until you got ready to retire for sickness to attack your body? Or why He would allow death to show up when your marriage was falling apart? We’ve cried out, “Why God?” Why am I struggling more when You were the One who told me move? Why am I hurting more when You were the One who told me to go? Why am I frustrated more when You are the One who told me what to say?

But have you ever stopped to think the hardship you’re facing right now was intentionally placed there by God? Has it ever dawned on you, what caused you to stumble was God’s way of intentionally knocking you back to save your life? Have you ever stopped to think that you thought was for your bad was actually for your good? I know, it sounds weird. But let me see if I can help you understand.

How many times did you pray for the place you are, even though God told you no the first time? How many days/nights did you plead with God for the very thing you’re crying over right now even though He told you no? Think about it because maybe, just maybe, you’re in a position like a guy named Balaam in Numbers 22, finding yourself on your road in life, on your ass. (By ass I mean donkey!)

See, this guy Balaam found himself in a predicament because the ride he thought would be easy turned into one with a few bumps and delays because God allowed Balaams donkey to stumble. Balaam was mad and told the donkey if he had a sword he would have killed him but what Balaam didn’t realize was that falling on his ass (that would be his donkey again) saved his life. Read this…
“And the angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.’” Numbers 22:32-33

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I don’t know where you’re at today on your journey, but falling just might be the reason you’re still alive. In God’s infinite grace and mercy, you’re misfortune was for your good. “… in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Help me see You control all and have my best in mind, even when I get knocked down. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen