It Was a Set Up!
Have you ever been the single one in the group that your friends edge on to date more? You know, that one friend that everyone is always looking for their Mr. or Mrs. Right for?
Don't get any funny ideas because I'm not asking for set up. But you know what I mean. How your friends or loved one will tell you about someone they know and all the beautiful things about them. They will hype that person up so much you'd think they were a Greek god or something. You'd eventually give in (or in my case tell them enough) and permit them to set you up on a date with this possible Mr. Right (or Mrs. Right). Well, I have a secret to tell you…come closer…closer…closer…
God has been setting you up!
Oh yeah, trust me. Our Dad upstairs is the Kind of setups. I'm not just talking about relational setups but everything too. You know how I've been recently talking about how grateful I am for the lessons and experiences I faced last year? Well, I'm even more thrilled to realize how every twist and turn brought me closer to him. It's ridiculously amazing!
I used to ask God whenever I was going through spiritual storms, “God why are you allowing this? Just please come and help me out of this already.” Well, recently He's been showing me why he allowed me to go through those spiritual storms and why he didn't just eliminate my obstacle. It was all for growth!
Spiritual growth, emotional growth, physical growth, and mental growth. I made some not so great decisions (don't start pointing fingers though because I know I've got a lot to work on. Remember what Jesus said about the speck on wood in one's eye) but man am I glad I did! Talk about a divine setup!
I'm challenging myself now, and I'm challenging you to get excited and to anticipate the fantastic result of the setups God has planted on your journey! Come rain or shine, you and I are meant to grow. (This said, do not voluntarily allow yourself to go through storms that you could've easily avoided.) Get pumped up! This year isn't just about those materialistic goals you made on January 1st. This year is about some divine setups that will transform you and me in ways we could've never imagined.
Don't get mad or frustrated when God allows you to face something. Get excited because He's given you all you need to win each battle this year. Don't get disappointed if what you had hoped for didn't work out the first, second, or eighth time (I don't know why I chose eight, but I did). Get inspired and motivated because God's is using trial #8 for you to succeed trial #9! Yup, you heard me!
'It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn your statutes. Instruction from your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. The arrogant have smeared me with lies, but I obey your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are hard and insensitive, but I delight in your instruction. '
'He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will also share in the comfort. We don’t want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction that took place in Asia. We were completely overwhelmed — beyond our strength — so that we even despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and he will deliver us. We have put our hope in him that he will deliver us again while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many. Indeed, this is our boast: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with godly sincerity and purity, not by human wisdom but by God’s grace. For we are writing nothing to you other than what you can read and also understand. I hope you will understand completely — just as you have partially understood us — that we are your reason for pride, just as you also are ours in the day of our Lord Jesus. '
'Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.'
Each time you fall, that's a setup. Each time something doesn't work out the way you anticipated, that's another setup! Each no brings you closer to your yes. Each closed door builds your spiritual resiliency by helping you realize, okay, if the door doesn't work, where is are the windows. Do you think that goal, that dream, that promise God revealed to you was going to come just because he showed it to you? It's like a father who buys a car for their child and saying okay; you can start driving at age 3. Heck no!
We've got to grow up. We've got face responsibility and build up our spiritual stamina so we can not only appreciate the gifts in which we've been assured by God (His word never returns to him void) but to be able to hold onto the promises we're destined to receive responsibly.
Take every battle as a setup! Each rejection is a setup. All those obstacles were building for your spiritual strength. Surprised? You've been set up!
Until next time…