Have you ever engaged on a mission convinced you were doing the Lord’s will only to see your efforts defeated by some unforeseen event? Have you taken a job sure that it was God’s choice for you only to discover the boss was mean-spirited or the co-workers adept at making your life miserable? Have you lost a family member or experienced prolonged illness, convinced that God would bring healing and He didn’t? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you probably have sincere issues to discuss with God regarding His will and timing.
Psalm 75:2--When I choose a time, I will judge fairly.
In the book of Ezra, homesick Jews left Babylon, their place of exile, journeying to Jerusalem. They returned to a land populated by relocated foreigners who worshiped heathen idols. King Cyrus issued an edict authorizing them to rebuild their temple. But as soon as Zerubbabel, Jeshua and the rest of the leaders began rebuilding they encountered opposition from Jew-hating inhabitants. Rehum, the area’s commanding officer, and Shimshai a secretary, wrote such a condemning letter that the successor to King Cyrus, Artaxerxes, ordered all temple-building stopped. It was a serious, morale-deflating ruling. It would take long years and a new king before a counter-order was issued that allowed the Jews to finish building God’s temple. No doubt many died without seeing the temple restored, bewildered by baffling events that ran counter to God’s promises. Why did God inspire two Persian kings to authorize the rebuilding of the temple yet permit another king to stand in opposition?
The Bible gives us helpful insight into the sovereign workings of God. Here are eight lessons to consider about timing and why He allows things to happen differently than what we might expect.
1. God exercises justice. He punishes us for our willful sin, refrains from helping because of our disobedience and permits suffering as a natural consequence of our sin nature—Numbers 14:21-23; Judges 2:20-23; Genesis 3:16-19.
2. God is tolerant. He allows people and Satan to oppose His work and will to accomplish His greater purpose—Ezra 4:4,5; Matthew 16:23; Luke 22:3; Acts 8:1,4.
3. God tests our faith—Genesis 17:17.
4. God uses events and circumstances to reveal world-wide His power and glory—Joshua 2:10,11; Ezra 7:27; Acts 2:5-11.
5. God holds an eternal perspective—Ecclesiastes 3:11,15; John 17:1-3.
6. God wants us to revere Him—Ecclesiastes 3:14.
7. Our concern is not always God’s concern—Acts 1:7.
8. God eventually works all things “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Don’t be discouraged if things don’t work out the way you planned. Trust in the Lord and believe that He loves you and has your best interests (the ones we can’t always see or understand) at heart. Something to think about . . . in reveration.
Every day is a messenger of God.—Russian Proverb
God has said He will exalt you in due time, but remember, He is referring to His time and not yours! —A. W. Tozer
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)