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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Where Has God Brought You?

Faithful people have bad things happen to them. Ask the Apostle Paul if you don't believe me. He had some very challenging events in his life. He was shipwrecked, stoned and beaten while serving His Lord.

God was not the author of these bad things. Satan and the sin that is in the hearts of men made these things happen. However, God used these hard times to fashion Paul into the man of God he was. He used these difficulties to move Paul from place to place. He even used the times in prison so Paul would write what would become most of the New Testament. God made miracles out of Paul's arduous journey.

I suppose one could say that this was only for Paul or it is only for the people who lived before the New Testament was completed but any believer who has diligently served His Lord knows that hard times come to everyone. We know that God uses good and bad things to fashion and move us. Sometimes the bad things get us to move to places we would have never considered before.

This is true of where I am right now. I would never have considered pastoring this church if I had not walked the path God had given me. I have never thought of myself as a moderate. My life has an on and off switch with no throttle. I go full speed or I just don't go. I couldn't see myself as a moderate.

I was not successful in my last pastorate. I had never had a failure before and did not know what to do. I considered this church because the situation was so unusual. I didn't know anyone at the church. I have always gone to a church which had a connection from someone in my past. This church came "out of the blue." I felt God's calling and I came.

God has blessed me. I can genuinely say that He has used the past events to help me be successful here. He moved me to a place where I see His grace. He has placed me in the midst of some of the most loving people I have ever known. I am blessed.

However, this did not come before I went through some very rough times. There were times that I didn't care if I lived or died. There were times when I wanted to quit the ministry altogether. There were times when I questioned whether I would ever know God's grace again. God used those times to bring me here.

I know that some of you reading this may be going through some of those very difficult times when you cannot see God's grace. Remember, just because you can't see His grace doesn't mean that it isn't there. God is moving you to a place He wants you to be. He is always moving you toward His grace.

I know it is hard to say that the light will come when you are in total darkness. Hope often fades the longer we are in darkness. The light is coming no matter how long the darkness lasts. The light will overcome the darkness.

Where has God brought you? Maybe He has brought you to a place you wouldn't have gone on your own. Yet, I assure you, He wouldn't have brought you here if it wasn't in His grace.

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