I recall the saying, “He may not come when you want Him, but He’s always on time.”
Although this truth is revealed throughout the Bible, the avalanche of emotional occurrences in our lives cause us to sometimes question the timeliness of God’s intervention in our affairs when we ask Him.
As a woman, I am learning we really do hold a special place in God’s heart. He understands everything about us—our personality, how we think, our needs for love and affection, our concerns, our dreams, our hurts and pains, disappointments— everything. He especially understands our faults and weaknesses. Yet, He is always compassionate toward us. His tenderness of heart is manifested in the lives of women who often struggle with emotional instability when dealing with the challenges of life.
When I consider the passage of Scripture recorded in Luke 7:11-16, this level of compassion is demonstrated to highest dimension—resurrection of a dead son. Wow!
Let’s consider how the death of this son affected the economical and emotional well being of this mother. Luke makes it clear that he was the only son of his mother (v.12). In accordance with the manners and customs of that day, it was the desire of both the mother and father to have a boy rather than a girl. Boys were desired to increase the size, wealth and importance of the family clan. Since this was an only son, the possibility of the family increasing was hopeless. Any hope or dreams for an inheritance died with this son. Consequently, the economical situation of this woman changed.
Luke also states that this woman was a widow. The father was the supreme authority in the household. When there was a son in the household, the authority which the father had was handed down to his eldest, who took over the position of leadership upon the death of the father. Consequently, this family structure changed with the death of the father. Now, the only one that was to assume responsibility and leadership for the household was now dead. Consequently, the weight of her inner turmoil, burdens, grief and pain were manifested on her countenance.
In modern day, this situation would merit the questions like: What am I going to do now? How am I going make it? Reading and believing what Jesus did for her should encourage us today—Jesus will fix it for you!
How encouraging is this passage of Scripture to those of us who face death everyday, whether the physical death of children, parents, loved ones, friends, or dead dreams, and visions, or hopeless situations. We must remember that the Lord Jesus sees our broken hearts and the same compassion that He had on this mother He has on us. His compassions never fail (Lam. 3:21-22) because He is faithful!
In the case of death, the dead may not be raised physically, but if they belong to Him they will be raised in the last day. Even in our grief, sorrow and brokenness, His touch will revive our spirit so that we continue in His strength in spite of emotional upheaval in our lives. His touch still resurrects dead dreams and makes them reality.
As we embrace the greater challenges in these last days, what is being carried out of your life because it’s dead? What are you about to bury? Don’t give up; don’t bury it yet because God’s timing is inconceivable. Think about it! It was no coincidence that Jesus showed up in the village of Nain just at the time this dead son was being carried out. What perfect timing?
It may seem as though you can’t take anymore disappointments, or hurts. He knows your emotional state concerning that son or daughter that seems hopelessly lost. He is concerned about your financial situation. He is aware of your needs, and He is available to comfort you like no one else can. You sense His tenderness when you get into His presence; you feel the softness of His touch like a warmth that surrounds you but you can’t explain. When He speaks peace saturates your mind to point of no understanding. Today, He is waiting to say arise to whatever is dead in your life. And when He speaks to that dead thing in your life, it has to resurrect because He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). It will be in perfect timing so that God will be glorified, and His name will be exalted in the earth.
As you face your challenging experiences, you too will learn that He may not come when you think He should, but for certain, He will be right on time because His timing is perfect!
©2017 Queen E. Phillips. All rights reserved. Use for non-profit only. Credit must be given to the copyright owner.
I heard some heartbreaking news yesterday that is still lingering in my mind today—families are suffering great loss and calamity. Although I do not know them personally, they are still family because we are all connected as part of God’s family.
It’s during times like this that no matter who you are, how long you have been a Christian, how spiritually deep you think you are, the questions arise, “Why?” “Why did God allow such tragedy to happen, especially the tragic death of children? Truth is, we don’t know why and may never know why. We try to give spiritual answers as believers, but I can tell you from personal experience, it does not ease the pain at the time. The journey from mourning to joy must be traveled by each of us on a timeline determined by our total dependence on the supernatural power of the God we profess as our Healer.
Nevertheless, until we are healed, delivered and set free, the ambush of thoughts is like stray bullets in our mind. We are unable to sooth the nauseous feeling of sadness when we stare at beautiful pictures of vibrate, happy, smiling faces of children that we dream of growing into adulthood. We try to rationalize, but cannot.
It hits too hard! It affects Christian believers and of course, nonbelievers, who often use unexplainable events and tragedy as reasons for not believing that a loving God would allow such horrendous things to happen to good people. Yet, no one is able to answer the why questions. Unfortunately, if we seek for a reason too long and do not come up with one, our soul will become exceedingly sad and discontent. Our inability to rationalize the horrific tragedy along with our emotional instability cause us to sink deeper and deeper into a pit of darkness. It is there in the pit that we are entrapped. Depression grips our soul with its gnashing teeth and refuses to let go. Consequently, we conclude we have no hope. It is in this pitfall where many give up and surrender to the spirit of defeatism. They cannot fight for themselves nor dig themselves out of the deep, dark, cold, pit of hopelessness.
Therefore, the need for intercessors is great! Intercessors are those will pray and stand in gap (spiritual gateway) and make up the hedge on behalf of those who become defenseless against the kingdom of darkness because the pangs of sorrow have become unbearable.
As believers, let us pray fervently for one another; and resolve that we may never know all the “whys” in this evil world nor understand even if God in His sovereignty chooses to tell us. But we must trust God to walk with us on our journey from mourning to joy. We must know we are victorious and believe what Jesus said even through our heartbreaking, painful experiences…
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
Like me, you have probably said, “I don’t know what God is doing. I don’t understand why God is allowing this to happen.” Our finite minds cannot fully comprehend God’s wisdom and unsearchable judgments. And some things are not for us to understand, but to simply obey and trust Him to reveal to us when and if He chooses to do so. Our limitations often keep us from grasping some things that happen in our personal life and in the world. Therefore, God hasn’t told us everything beforehand. He does so on an ‘as needed’ basis.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)
If He told us everything we would have no reason to have faith in His word or to trust Him. In our humanity, we have a tendency to be totally independent and do things our way rather than God’s way. Over the years I have learned that as painful and disappointing as life events are, I must trust God. The words of Babbie Mason’s song, “when we don’t see His hand, trust His heart” ministered to me during my “why” days.
“The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. (Deuteronomy 29:29 New Living Translation)
In chapters 27 through 29 of Deuteronomy, Moses summarized a review of God’s covenant with the Israelites. He outlined the curses and blessings that would result based on their choice to obey or disobey the terms of the covenant. The essence of his review was to remind them to obey the terms of the covenant so that they will prosper in everything they do. He rehearsed their past experiences in Egyptian captivity. He explained the blessings for obedience and the consequences of disobedience. He told them about the devastation and desolation of the land if they didn’t keep the covenant. The question of the surrounding nations would be, “Why did this happen?” The answer would be because the terms of the covenant were not obeyed.
The above passage quoted from verse 29 of chapter 29 ended with the matter of accountability relative to Yahweh’s sovereign decision. Here is the relevance for us today: There are some things that God in His Sovereignty, infinite knowledge and wisdom do not reveal to us; therefore, He does not hold us accountable; but we are accountable for what He does reveal (uncover) concerning His instructions, plans, and purposes. Ultimately, we have a choice just as the Israelites—obey and be blessed or disobey and suffer the consequences. Yes, even under the dispensation of grace, if you’re wondering.
We may never know, like or understand the why in a situation or the what about circumstances. Nevertheless, what we should do is trust Him completely, draw closer in our relationship with Christ, be confident in His promise to never abandon (forsake) us, and be assured that He will carry us through our wilderness wanderings, provide for us and comfort all who turn to Him as our loving Father.
God has a purpose for everything! I know it is easy to blame God for the painful things that happen in this fallen world. However, blaming Him does not change anything. God is still God and He is not intimidated or threatened by our feelings. He still loves us unconditionally. Remember, He knew us before we were conceived (beyond your understanding, right?) He has planned that all things work together for our good.
Dearly beloved, you may not know, like nor understand the what or the why God allows things to happen in your personal life and this world, my encouragement to you is please trust His heart, which is filled with unconditional love for you.
When you don’t understand God’s plan and can’t see His hand, you can trust His heart.
Think about it! Talk to Him honestly about your feelings. He listens and He cares.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc.
God, our Father in heaven,
Hallowed is your name! Thank you for the privilege and access to come in confidence to your throne of grace, where we can obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. We come in the name of Jesus today. We rejoice in saying, you are our God; we worship you and you alone! Thank you! Thank you for daily provision, naturally and spiritually. Thank you for the plan of salvation through faith in your Son, Jesus the Christ, in whom through His blood is the remission of sin. Thank you for forgiving us and for your enabling power that’s available so that we can forgive others. Father, thank you for the trials and triumph; for bringing us through the dark and evil days of yesteryear. Thank you for those who bore the burden and paid the price for freedom as a people. Let us not forget their sacrifice of life. And we pray for this generation to be willing to stand as they did; to stand for righteousness, justice, and equality. Lord, open the eyes of our heart so that we understand as they did, the fight is not just for the present, but for generations to come. Help us to not be so focused and selfish concerning our rights now, but to pray for your kingdom to come and your will be done in future generations. Help us to realize that just as we stand on the shoulders of those who fought for us today, so must future generations stand on our shoulders. Therefore, we must be vigilant and alert, knowing that our adversaries are many, but you, O Lord is with us when we stand for righteousness and justice. Let us be the light that shines in this dark world! May we have the fortitude, boldness, and tenacity to stand fearlessly in the face of opposition and fight for what is right, speak out against what is wrong; that we will speak the truth in love, being confident that there is an invisible host much greater than those opposing us. We praise you, our just God, who sees all and knows everything; nothing is hidden from you; and in perfect timing, you will expose lies and reveal hidden truths that will set many people free! Father, as we commemorate Black History, we pray, let the good that we do today be a legacy we leave for tomorrow. May the truth that we stand on and declare today be words that will empower and transform lives tomorrow.
Thank you, Father, for empowering our ancestors, and our elders, to endure persecutions, to stand in faith and survive great adversity so that this generation could have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on saying,
“Fight the good fight of faith! Sound the alarm and declare, ‘Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.’” (Amos 5:24).
We pray, let us not grow weary in doing what is good and pleasing to You. In the name of Jesus, we pray with thanksgiving. Amen.
Where God is carrying you in 2017 some in your inner circle cannot go with you. He will not allow them to go. Therefore, do not try to force them to go with you. Release them in love and follow Jesus! Remember that God’s plan for you is not the same even for those in ministry with you.
God’s plan for each of us is personal although we may be serving in ministry together now. We have a tendency to try and hold on to people we are connected to not realizing it may be only for a season. You may have worked together in unity and had an effective ministry. However, once you have completed that particular assignment, God has another assignment for you that requires transitioning to another place and with other people.
**Side Note: the transition may be a spiritual one and not a physical location. For example, God may increase you spiritually through divine revelation, wisdom, and insight for the purpose of completing another assignment, which requires greater responsibility. You should not expect everyone to understand, and you should definitely not become proud arrogant, and condescending. Always remember it is about Kingdom business and God’s glory.
We tend to welcome a change of scenery and transition when we have been under scrutiny, dealt with envy and jealousy, and had difficulty working with our brothers and sisters in the church’s ministry. Unfortunately, many individuals leave for the wrong reason without considering God’s plan. Consequently, they risk being out of God’s will and doing things their own way.
On the other hand, when we have a healthy working relationship with others in ministry, have seen great progress and effectiveness in ministry, we risk missing God’s next assignment for us because we think we are in the set place for life and that God’s plan and will for us is collective rather than individual.
In addition, when God reveals His plan for us individually, we want to know His plan for those in our inner circle that we’ve worked with for some time. We must be careful with this mindset. We never want to do the work of ministry based on convenience, ease and without opposition. That is unrealistic and unbiblical in the Kingdom of God. Jesus always faced opposition and was constantly being scrutinized by others. Ministry is never about comfort!
In fact, God’s individual plan for you may require leaving the comforts of ministry and the good working relationships with co-laborers to move forward in fulfilling your next assignment for the Kingdom. However, it may not be as comforting and glamorous for you as you expected, but as long as the Lord is with you, it will be well.
Here is a biblical example that always amazes me when I read it. Consider Peter’s revelation from Jesus concerning God’s plan for him (John 21:20-22). Jesus restores Peter back into fellowship after of him three times just as Jesus predicted (Matthew 26:69-75). The restoration consisted of Jesus questioning Peter about his love for Him. After the validation of Peter’s love Jesus gave him his “life” assignment with specific instructions, “Feed my sheep.” Furthermore, Jesus revealed the great cost that would come with Peter’s great responsibility—Peter would die as a martyr for the glory of God. Can you imagine after being affirmed and restored for ministry and now to hear God’s final plan that included how you would die after your ministry assignment? After receiving “in part” his revealed destiny, and God’s will for him, naturally, Peter wanted to know God’s plan for John. He asked, “What’s going to happen to him? How is he going to die?”
In essence, Jesus said to Peter that God’s plan for John is not the same as yours. Just focus on your relationship with Me. The place and work assigned to you are for you. This is your lot in life. Peter and John had been together from the start of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Peter, James, and John were Jesus’ inner circle; they had shared their lives together and spent intimate time with Jesus, but that was for a season. Now there would come a time of separation based on God’s individual plan, purpose, and will.
As I stated, the tendency to want to continue working with individuals we have shared in ministry with for a while is natural. We make assumptions about God’s plans based on working relationships and experiences together. However, there may come a time when what you have witnessed and shared in ministry together was God’s plan to prepare you for your next. Seek to know God’s will for your and not your co-laborer so that wherever He has purposed to carry you, although it may mean separating from the familiar and comfortable, you will submit to His will.
Where God is carrying you in 2017 some in your inner circle cannot go with you. He will not allow them to go. Therefore, do not try to force them to go with you. Release them in love and you follow Jesus! Without question about His plan for your co-laborer, you say, “Yes, Lord. Here am I send me.”
(Read John 17:20-22 and may the Holy Spirit enlighten you).
© 2016 Queen Phillips. All rights reserved. Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc.
When it comes to the idea or thought of what is good for us opinions and beliefs vary. Usually, the differences are based upon personal preferences, experiences, and environments. Oftentimes many are persuaded by the opinions and beliefs of others for various reasons—relationships, shared experiences, similar backgrounds, etc. Regardless of beliefs or how opinions are formed, in many instances, we know, to a certain extent, if something is good for us or not. Unfortunately, our human nature gravitates to the “not good” more often than the good although we are fully aware of the risks. For example, take a look at the picture. I am sure you can agree that as good as it looks, too much fast food in our diet is definitely not a good thing. However, the decision is personal. If I know eating too much fast food is not a good thing, will I change my eating habits and discipline myself for my own benefit—a healthy lifestyle?
This same illustration can apply to our spiritual life. When it comes to our personal relationship with Christ, we have an innate problem with discerning if it’s a good thing. We are in a constant struggle with our carnal nature. For example, in our carnal mindset, we agree that being afflicted is not a good thing. However, this is what the psalmist concludes in Psalm 119:71:
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.”
The word afflicted in this passage does not necessarily mean physical sickness or disease. Instead, it means various troubles, unfavorable circumstances and conditions that put you in a lowly place, a humbling position, which is against our human nature. In essence, when our back is against the wall, we are in a good place to learn something from God that will change us as well as our spiritual perception.
“It is a good thing that I was humbled
because it helped me learn Your limits.”
Psalm 119:71 (The Voice)
Let’s consider the psalmist’s perspective and what we can learn that can possibly change our view. First of all, it is a personal declaration…good for me…, that I was humbled…, it helped me… As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, each of us must have personal experiences and encounters on our faith walk that transform us from the inside out so that we grow in the knowledge of God. God in His wisdom deals with each of us differently just as parents do with their children. Hopefully, we can all agree that in His sovereignty He desires good for all of us regardless of what it takes for us to realize that goodness is the essence of God’s character.
“No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11b)
Secondly, the psalmist states the reason for his conclusive statement. He says that having been afflicted (humbled) was good so he could learn God’s statutes (decrees)—established laws that govern; God’s boundaries (limits). Truth is, we become so consumed with our troubles that we complain, whine and beg God to get us out even though we ignored boundaries and pushed the limits. We are a generation that rebel against limitations and set boundaries. Unfortunately, without boundaries and limits, we risk harming ourselves and others. Hence, laws and regulations were established for our good.
Here is the good news! God’s ultimate plan is to bring us to an expected end—a good outcome. However, we don’t always see this from a spiritual perspective. Our sin nature opposes God’s way of doing things. Therefore, we constantly seek to do things our way. Unfortunately, we fail to recognize what is good for us until our way has landed us into “no way out.” It is at the point of “no way out” that we finally get it, sometimes the first time—God’s way is the best because He is good and His mercy endures forever.
Conclusively, when it comes to the idea or thought of what is good for us opinions and beliefs vary from our carnal nature. Thankfully, from a spiritual perspective, like the psalmist, we mature spiritually and realize that our troubles, bad situations, lowly places, hardships and disappointments were working for our good. (Romans 8:28) Why? God was teaching us! We learned something about God. We learned that God’s judgments are right. We learned that God is faithful and can be trusted. We learned that God loves us unconditionally, and knows and wants what is best for us. Above all, we learned that God’s Word is true. Teach me O LORD! I hope in Your Word!
(Suggested reading: Psalms 119:65-72)