His Sovereign Hand

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His Sovereign Hand

hopeless to hopeful

 

Kenneth Porter – Prayer Center Assistant Coach, cbn.com

When I came to Virginia in 2019, CBN wasn’t on my radar. I didn’t have any direction or purpose at that time. I had been falsely accused and fired from my teaching position. I interviewed everywhere but to no avail, there were no openings. I did Lyft driving for a while until I couldn’t afford to do it anymore. At my lowest point, I was looking on CBN’s website for encouragement and I saw job openings. I told myself, I can at least pray for someone.

Eventually, CBN’s human resources department contacted me. I was interviewed by a representative and soon hired.

When I came on as a new hire, I prayed for a woman from California who had an outreach ministry. Toward the end of the call, she asked me if I had something in the courts. (FYI: I never told her about my situation. And I was not a firm believer in prophecy at that time.) I told her yes. She prophesied over me. She mentioned that the decision will be overturned. A week later, my attorney called me. He told me that I was exonerated from all charges concerning my former employer. I was ecstatic!

God has blessed me ten times over since being at CBN. In 2019, I was a broken man who lost his teaching position because of false accusations. Now, in 2022, I am a revived man in Christ. I’ve also been promoted while serving at CBN. And, exonerated!

I am reminded of a Scripture in Job:

After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: “May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’ That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it” (Job 3:1-4).

He was so frustrated that he wanted to curse the day that he was born. I was there in 2019. Job had a problem trying to comprehend his circumstances. His circumstances appeared to be very bad. But He did not know what was happening from God’s perspective. Job did not know that there was a commotion in the heaven between God and Satan, that Satan was challenging God about Job’s faith. He could not recognize God’s sovereign hand.

When we are faced with hardship and difficult situations, they can overwhelm us. When we look at God from the middle of our circumstances, we will have a distorted understanding of Him. We may say a statement like “God doesn’t love me” or “God is unfair.” It can easily come out of our mouths. However, it is vital to understand our painful circumstances through God’s perspective to understand His character and His will. He can turn everything around for good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

We must recognize God’s hand in our circumstances. He can do exceedingly and abundantly above what we ask or think

 

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

By Veronica Neffinger, crosswalk.com

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14)

Did you ever realize how good things nearly always take time?

As children, waiting can seem like agony. We don’t want to think about the hours that must slowly slip by until school lets out, until summer comes back around, or until our favorite uncle comes to visit again. As adults, our impatience is little lessened, albeit perhaps better concealed.

In our culture of immediacy, having patience is even more difficult and out of reach. We are used to multitasking and packing each day with so much busyness that we seldom have time to hear our own voices.

This impatience for results, for productivity is, I believe, something that we, as Christians, must learn to surrender, will have to learn to surrender if we are going to keep growing.

Have you ever noticed that good things nearly always come about because of a process; oftentimes, a long process?

Conversely, it seems many bad things are those that happen in an instant: a car crash that turns your life upside down, a quick word hurled out in anger which breaks a relationship, a split-second decision to give in to peer pressure.

Now, of course, not all split-second decisions lead to negative consequences, but there is a striking parallel here:

As we are jumping from one thing to the next on a continual cycle of busyness, spiraling away from deep understanding and hovering on the periphery of thought, God is seeking to work against the entropy we have created, making the disparate parts of our life into something beautiful.

God is very comfortable working slowly (or what appears as slowly to us).

We all want this transformation God promises us in His Word, but are we willing to wait for it?

After the moment of salvation, God desires to sanctify us–to make us holy–but this takes time and daily repentance, submission, and prayer, all things that themselves require us to be in for the long haul if we hope to see fruit.

God does not take His sweet time making us more like Himself because He enjoys seeing our impatience; He is patient in perfecting us because, for any truth to truly take hold in us, takes time.

Although we are creatures who have no problem proclaiming an opinion in an instant, we also recognize that dearly-held beliefs are not easily relinquished.

In His infinite mercy, God takes upon Himself the process of gently wrestling our most dearly-held but harmful, selfish, and just plain false beliefs from the intense grip we have on them.

Our stubbornness to begin the growing process is often a reason why we do not spring forward in our Christian life in leaps and bounds.

But that is okay. God knows our frame, and His patience and lovingkindness never fails, even when ours does.

The sound in the mulberry trees

By: Charles Spurgeon

“When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.” 2 Samuel 5:24

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Timothy 2:14-19

If any of your acquaintance have been in the house of God, if you have induced them to go there, and you think there is some little good doing but you do not know, take care of that little. It may be God has used us as a foster mother to bring up his child, so that this little one may be brought up in the faith, and this newly converted soul may be strengthened and edified. But I’ll tell you, many of you Christians do a deal of mischief, by what you say when going home. A man once said that when he was a lad he heard a certain sermon from a minister, and felt deeply impressed under it. Tears stole down his cheeks, and he thought within himself, “I will go home to pray.” On the road home he fell into the company of two members of the church. One of them began saying, “Well, how did you enjoy the sermon?” The other said, “I do not think he was quite sound on such a point.” “Well,” said the other, “I thought he was rather off his guard,” or something of that sort; and one pulled one part of the minister’s sermon to pieces, and another the other, until, said the young man, before I had gone many yards with them, I had forgotten all about it; and all the good I thought I had received seemed swept away by those two men, who seemed afraid lest I should get any hope, for they were just pulling that sermon to pieces which would have brought me to my knees. How often have we done the same! People will say, “What did you think of that sermon?” I gently tell them nothing at all, and if there is any fault in it—and very likely there is, it is better not to speak of it, for some may get good from it.

For meditation: If you must have the sermon for Sunday lunch, beware of devouring someone’s faith along with it (Mark 4:4,15).

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