Waiting upon the Lord in hopes that things would turn around? Waiting upon the Lord through the trials and the challenges? Waiting upon the Lord wondering what it is you were to learn and how long would this go on? In 2020 the theme of the year in blogging was Hindsight is 2020. Every month I would put the previous month in the rearview mirror. It wasn’t for lack of change but too much change to be able to get settled or confident or comfortable. It built me a stronger house as my family drew closer together. I continued to have heart because Jesus had said that in this world I would have trouble, but to take heart because He has overcome the world. I considered it pure joy with each trial that came my way in faith because I knew that I had to lean in and persevere since when perseverance finishes its work I would be complete and lacking nothing. Who knew it would take until the last two weeks of the year for the hindsight to be come clear and for the perseverance to bring me to a door I wouldn’t have been prepared for otherwise. As the transition started and as the reality set it, it was revealed to me how all the trials and troubles were necessary to prepare me to step away from the work I had been doing for over 7 years. It was a preparation to help me to keep the people connections and friendships but to be able to step away from the projects and programs in order to take on a new role.
Would I want another 2020 type of year? Nope. Would I have given up the lessons and the experiences that took place? Nope. 2020 came with opportunities to forgive. 2020 came with opportunities to care. 2020 came with opportunities to learn. 2020 came with opportunities to draw closer as a family. 2020 came with opportunities to put focus on the main thing. 2020 came with opportunities to hear the heart of others. 2020 came with opportunities to share the love and grace of God with others. 2020 came with open doors to speak the truth in life to others. 2020 came with new doors to knock on. 2020 came with a new door of opportunity to walk through. 2020 came with the opportunity to get and become prepared. 2020 came with the opportunity to draw closer to God in the midst of the unknowns.
God is good! God is faithful! God is able to take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it around and use it for good! God is love! God’s ways are not our ways! God’s ways are better, are higher than our ways!
‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord . “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.’— Isaiah 55:8-9
So if you haven’t gotten to the point in the story where things are turning around, don’t give up! Lean in harder on God! Put Jesus at the center in order that your relationships and your work will be around serving Him. Don’t go it alone! If you have a problem then put it on the table and then attack the problem rather than the people. Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood but rather against the powers and principalities of this dark world!
What did you learn in 2020? Did you experience God’s ability to turn things around? Are you ready for God to turn things around in and through your life?
Are you ready for things to turn around? Let’s pause and hear this great song sung by Lincoln Brewster before we jump into the normal flow of our devotionals.
The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for February 16th
The Turnaround Artist
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 30:11
‘You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,’
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
- Nowhere does it say life is supposed to be easy.
- We do read in this world you will have troubles in John 16:33
- We may find that we get attacked
- We may find that we have to deal with health issues
- We may find that we have to deal with discouragement
- We may find that we have to deal with hopelessness
- In the midst of life we need to continue to turn to God
- In the midst of life we need to continue to lean into God
- In the midst of life we need to put our hope and our trust in God
- In the midst of life we need to cry out to God
- In the midst of life we need to be able to build our relationship with God and open up our hearts to Him
- In the midst of life we need to be able to discuss the highs and the lows with God
- God wants an intimate relationship with us … are you willing to have an intimate relationship with Him?
- Will you persevere and not stop calling out to God, leaning on God, trusting God till you see Him turn things around?
- God’s timing is perfect!
- God’s plan is good!
- We see from the story of Joseph how God’s plan has a purpose that we may not understand in the middle of it.
- ‘But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. ‘ — Genesis 50:20
- We see from the story of Job which had been a rough one for me whenever I got to that book over the years but it was through that book that I learned how God turned things around and in 2013 Job 42:12 helps me to have hope through my life when I start Job because I know how it ends. Job shares how nobody can thwart, frustrate, counter, oppose, balk, disappoint, impede, obstruct, hamper, hinder, snooker, cripple, scotch, derail, smash, dash, stop, check, block, prevent, defeat, nip in the bud, mess up, screw up, do for, put paid to, stymie, cook someone’s goose, scupper, nobble, queer, put the mockers on, or traverse God’s plan.
- God’s got the full picture, the big picture, and His plan incorporates the long term vision and purpose. God’s timing can be immediate but it can require time and as such be a long term plan.
- ‘The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.’ — Psalms 33:11
- Jeremiah 29:11 speaks to God’s plans when it says:
- ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord , thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ‘ — Jeremiah 29:11
- God’s plan goes beyond our life on this planet too. God’s plan is for us to choose Jesus and get to spend eternity with Him!
- ‘“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”’ — John 14:1-4
- God’s plan is working for our good! God desires that everyone will turn back to Him!
- ‘But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.’ — II Peter 3:8-9
- God’s plan has a happy ending! If you are like me you like movies with happy endings. When you get to the book of Revelation in the Bible and realize what it has to say about the destination of believers, you realize that there is a happy ending, even though in this world we will have troubles.
- ‘And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. ‘ — Revelation 22:3
- So let’s be like David and be honest with God! Let’s share our thoughts and our feelings with Him!
- Let’s pour our the pain and the sorrow! Let’s celebrate and praise Him too!
- Let’s tell Him how we are feeling about the way things are going!
- Let’s share when we are happy with Him
- Let’s share when we are sad with Him
- Let’s share when we are frustrated too
- Let’s remember how He tells us to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us!
- Let’ share the trials and the troubles with God and lean in and trust in Him to turn things around for us!
- Let’s be sensitive to His Spirit and walk out in obedience His instructions, directions, and corrections.
- Let’s not lose heart in the midst of trials and troubles but trust that God has things under control and as part of His plan we will find resolution and relief!
- Let’s not be robots or puppets, let’s be real people living real life, and sharing it with our real God!
- Can we consider it pure joy? Yes
- Can we allow people to know what we are going through so that they can celebrate with us when God’s timing comes to turn things around? Yes
- Let’s trust God for the answers!
- Let’s allow God to turn our mourning into dancing!
- Let’s be honest with God and allow Him to hear it from us!
- He knows it all and so we just need to trust Him and share it all with Him!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Is it easy or hard for you to be genuinely honest with God? Explain your answer.
- His Word is alive and speaks into my very situation
- Sometimes I am not ready for His answer and so it extends the time it takes for resolution.
- I share the highs and the lows with Him. He knows my thoughts and my heart.
- I make time to allow Him to search my mind and my heart every morning and I allow His Word to speak into and through me via my blog.
What are some things in your life right now that need to be turned from mourning to dancing?
- God turned 2020 around and 2021 is off to a great start.
- Thank you God for not having given up on me in 2020 and helping me to draw closer to you and closer to my family in and through it all.
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.”— Matthew Henry
Today’s reading from Tanakh:
Are you willing to lean in and trust God to turn things around? Are you willing to invite God into your very situation and ask Him to help turn things around? Are you ready for things to be turned around?
Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.—The Sinner’s Prayer
Did you pray this with me? Would you like to connect and discuss it with me? Would you like to make time to start your walk with Jesus? Do you have questions? Please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.