When Things Don't Go Right
by Babangida Joseph
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Ever found yourself in a quagmire where everything you do doesn’t seem to yield the desired result and the pressure keeps mounting? Ever felt like it will require superhuman effort to surmount the problems confronting you that seem to be exacerbating instead of abating? If that is how you feel then you’re not alone. We all feel the sting of living in a fallen world with its flawed systems.
When things don’t go right we’re forced to start thinking whether or not we’re going to make it. And if you’re a believer the tendency is for you is to start questioning why God in heaven should allow you go through the difficult situation. As we mature in our walk with God, hopefully we could reach that stage where our questions would be more of “what” than “why”. But until then we want to question why the chaotic upheavals in our lives especially when we compare ourselves to our neighbors who may not even be serving God faithfully.
Can I suggest to you that you’re going through what you’re going through because you’re in the school of God and He’s teaching you life lessons that eventually will make you conform more to the image of His dear son. And because you’re in school, you won’t graduate to the next class until you pass your test. If you fail the test it means you will have to repeat the class.
Life is full of ups and downs. Jesus testified that in this world we would experience trouble. But He didn’t stop there. He promised us who are in Him peace. So in the midst of the storm we can actually have peace.
Hence what should be our response when disappointing realities confront us? If we are doing well in our class lessons our question to the Teacher would be what do you want me to learn out of this circumstance? Having faith doesn’t eliminate our struggles rather it strengthens us to go through whatever the Teacher has designed for our edification. The apostle Paul says: I have learnt in whatever state I am therewith to be content. I know how to be abased and how to abound. In lack or in plenty this dear apostle is always rolling.
He says to us rejoice always. Again I say rejoice. Now if you think Paul was out of his mind to make this suggestion then I need to remind you that he was locked up in a jail cell when he made that profound statement. What is the environment of a jail cell? Trust me it is not the warmest and nicest place to be. It is not a place where sumptuous meals are served. It is not a place where warm blankets are handed out to keep the inmates happy. At least not in a Roman jail cell. It is cold, dark and lonely. It is rough, tough, and sinister. Ask Jeremiah the prophet:
Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him,
and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they
had made that the prison. When Jeremiah was entered into the
dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there
many days; Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: …
Moreover Jeremiah said unto King Zedekiah, What have
I offended against thee, or against thy servants, or against this
people, that ye have put me in prison? Therefore hear now, I
pray thee, O my lord the king: let my supplication, I pray thee,
be accepted before thee; that thou cause me not to return to
the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.
He just knew he’d die there. Joseph asked the chief butler to Pharaoh to bring up his case so that he would regain his freedom. It’s an awful place. Yet it was from there that the great apostle Paul asked believers to rejoice. The man is learning his lessons well at the foot of the Master. How about you? Can the same be said of you?
How much of our lives we commit to God will determine how far we are willing to go with Him. So when things go wrong what is our response going to be?
1. Find God in the chaos. Learn to see God in your circumstances good or bad. Understand that God lets nothing come your way that will not ultimately work for your good. For I know thoughts I have for you saith the Lord. Thoughts of good and not of evil to give you an expected end.
2. Time to move to the next class. Remaining in our comfort zone may give us some respite but it stampedes our progress. Nobody awards you a certificate you have not paved your way for. You have to earn it. At least in God’s principles that’s what’s obtainable. Pay the price and get the medal. Paul didn’t say “I sat on a lazy boy’s chair and my reward met me rocking back and forth.” No, he attests: “I have fought a good fight; I have kept the faith; I have finished the race.” When you have breasted the tape, the next thing you should expect is your reward amidst the cheering crowd.
3. Suffering placed in its right perspective brings about maturity. Christ was made perfect through suffering. And if we want to be like Him how else are we going to do so? Let’s not forget that neither height nor depth nor angels nor principalities or powers or things present or things to come will be able to separate us from the love of God.
4. Eat the word. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. It will take you through every crisis you will face. It equips you with the arsenal you need to withstand the devil. When Jesus used the Word against the devil, he backed off. The same power that was found in Jesus was deposited in you when you made Him Saviour and Lord over your life.
So when things go wrong, it is not the time to start complaining about how unfair life has been to you. It is not time to start feeling victimized by the situation. It is not the moment to conclude that is how it is going to remain. When things don’t go right, it is time to locate God in your crises. Remember He will never leave you nor forsake you. Excitingly, He was in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
When things don’t go right, it is time to recognize that you are in training. And when you train well you get the prize. Paul said he fights to obtain a prize.
When things don’t go right and you feel your suffering is undeserved then know that you are entering another realm of maturity. I am not glorifying suffering. But how many babies just got up one day and start walking? Babies earned the right to wobble their way up only after sustaining bruises but refusing to stay down. Character, oftentimes is not molded in the calm waters of life but through the turbulence that has been created.
When things don’t go right, get the word out. That is the last card. The ace you need to win the many battles that life brings our way.
I trust these words have not only encouraged you but have placed within your grasp the arsenal you need to fight your way to total victory when things don’t go right.
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I really like the message. It was packed with good insights pertaining to scripture. You may want to consider either indenting the beginning of your paragraphs or putting a space between them as I feel it helps with focusing on the area in that paragraph. When it runs as one it can, for me, be less appealing overall. As I said, wonderful things in there yet you may want to consider the paragraph suggestion. Great topic too! Love in Him, Jo
One more thing, I saw where some of your paragraphs were separated too and those to me really made a difference. I suspect in your original work you probably had it that way overall yet you may want to consider editing it that way too. My input.