Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Saves"1 (Lyrics)
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Have you ever seen blessings in disguise in your life? You know, those things which — at the time — seemed to be inconveniences or obstacles, but later proved to be for the very best? Sometimes, these stumbling blocks are just annoyances, but sometimes, they are serious challenges. My most recent example was having my furnace fail in the middle of a cold snap in the dead of winter. The furnace had been functioning perfectly well when it was tested a week before, but without warning, it suddenly stopped working. A week later, I had a brand-new furnace humming along down in my crawl space. This was not my plan, but it was a necessity that had to be dealt with. God not only carried me through the inconvenience of the non-functioning furnace, but also took me step by step through the resolution of the problem.
So, what blessing could be derived from such an inopportune challenge? First, because I am a widow having to navigate life's daily problems on my own, I realized that I had unexpected strength. Successfully walking through this experience from start to finish increased my self-confidence. I also learned that people around me are more than willing to help. My son-in-law was able to give me sound advice. Honest workmen went out of their way to install a new furnace as soon as possible during our cold snap. God's love and care were abundantly evident.
Sometimes, the blessing of God's care and provision is revealed to us later on so that we can then thank Him with a full heart. Other times, we must simply accept the bad along with the good in our lives and move on, possibly never knowing the reason for the trial. I'm comforted by the knowledge that God is in full control of every event in our lives. Because He can see the end from the beginning, He knows how the happenings in our lives will fit together perfectly. An apt illustration of this is a weaving or tapestry. The underneath side — our vantage point — is full of knots and confusing patterns, while the right side — God's perspective — reveals the beautifully intended design.
Seldom do we gladly welcome life's challenges and difficulties, but we can still rest assured that all the details in our lives are part of God's sovereign plan. He will give us strength to withstand every hardship, and sometimes allow us to peek behind the curtain to see the reason that He had in mind. We can be thankful for the turbulent times in life as well as for our quiet, peaceful moments.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the blessings of both the good times and the bad times in life. We are grateful that You plan our lives in every detail and work things together perfectly for our good and Your glory. Amen.