A Measure of Success (Day 4 from Cleansing Thoughts)

    I no longer have my mind set in the needs or on our circumstances, nor do I dwell on what others believe to be my inability, but my focus is fixed on the One who provides for all my needs according to His riches in glory. And as I greet each new day, I thank Him for all He has done in my life and all He has brought me through. My Heavenly Father has our lives in control, and I am learning to be satisfied in whatever state I am in. In Philippians 4:11-12 (NKJV), the apostle Paul gives us a beautiful example of how we should look at difficult circumstances in our lives. For a clearer understanding of the text, I want to quote it from the Amplified Bible, “For I have learned how to be content [satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted] in whatever state I am . . . I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.” Sometimes, this can be a hard lesson to learn. For me, it wasn’t so much the being in want as it was not being disquieted. 

   The next interview I went to was totally different than the previous ones. I was confident than the previous ones. I was confident and had the peace of God in my heart and mind. The entire atmosphere was different when I  walked into the room, and I felt assured that the Lord had prepared the way before me. What was interesting was the man giving me the interview remembered me from a previous job and was impressed with my ability to deal with the public. He saw only the positive things on my resume, and he told me I would be an asset to the company. With God’s blessings, I accepted the position and left feeling good about myself. 

   I would be amiss if I did not share with you a vital point of my message. At the time, I was working in a job, the one this man rem me from, I did not care for due to many circumstances that are not important to the story. However, what is important is in what seemed like the most bleak of circumstances, the Lord was working on my behalf. What the enemy meant for harm, the Lord used for good.

   The Word tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. So why do we so often cast our faith aside by allowing the opinions of others to influence our lives or the circumstances that surround us to determine our faith? We say we trust God, yet we so easily take things into our own hands at the first sign of adversity. Do you remember the story in Numbers 13 when the twelve spies were sent into the promise land? God had brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt with great miracles. He had sustained them in the wilderness. Now with the promise land within their grasp, they chose to believe the negative report of ten of the spies instead of the report of the Lord given by Joshua and Caleb to go in and possess the land He had given them. As a result, the children of God wandered in the wilderness and possess the promise of God.
    All of us face disappointments and setbacks in this life, but I encourage you to remember they are only detours on life’s highway. There is a plan and a purpose for everything that happens to us in this life even when we don’t understand the reason for them. Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV) gives us hope by saying, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

   There is a wonderful book about learning to embrace life’s disappointments by Kay Arthur I would recommend for everyone to read. It is entitled As Silver Refined. In her book, she gives an illustration that goes something like this: Write the word  disappointments. Now separate the “dis”and drop the the D and add an H. Now continue  spelling the word, His appointments. When we look at life’s  disappointments in this light, we see they are all His divine appointments. Nothing in this life is impossible for our God, just as nothing that happens to us is without His knowledge. So, my friend, don’t cast away your faith. God has a plan and a purpose for your life, and He will complete the work He has started in you.
   I want to leave you with this scripture as encouragement, and then I want to pray with you. “In this you greatly rejoice, through now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy in-expressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your soul.” (1 Peter 1:6-9)

“Heavenly Father, I ask that you take this child of God into your everlasting arms of love, thereby changing all life’s disappointments into Your divine appointments. Help him to see the joy of his salvation through the trials of life that he might give you all the praise, glory, and honor due Your name. Help him to see that all things work together for his good because he loves you and is called according to your purpose. It is in Your name, I pray.”


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