This season is such a beautiful reminder that God works in such mysterious ways.
When He came, how He came, where He came, the way He came – it all reminds us that God works through the unexpected. It may feel like God has somehow let you down. Perhaps the year is ending on a low note, perhaps you are in a place of doubt and questioning, perhaps you are ending 2020 disappointed.
Let the Christmas story be a reminder to you today – even when it may seem like He is not, God is always working. It might not look anything like what you expected. When you cannot understand what He is doing, when it doesn’t fit what you call good, when it seems delayed or unsure, when He feels far off, when His ways are beyond your comprehension, the one thing you can completely rely on and lean into is that HE IS GOOD. Whatever He allows, whenever He works, His yes and His no and His wait, the unexpected ways in which He works – they are always, irrevocably for His great glory and your good.
Proverbs 3:5 instructs us, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and don’t lean on what you understand.”
Our understanding is limited and our ability to see the future is nonexistent. Why lean on something so flimsy? Our disappointment is almost always tied to our plans… when what we planned for our relationships, business, personal growth and finances don’t work out the way we hoped, it leads to disappointment. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” (Proverbs 13:13) The Passion translation describes it as hope’s dream being dragged on and on… does that describe you today? Feeling heartsick? Feeling like the dream is being dragged on and on?
Can I encourage you today? Don’t put your hope in an outcome but in a good God. If our hope is in an outcome, we can easily end up sick, but the Word assures us that NO good thing will God withhold… if He withholds it, then it’s not good or not yet good. Imagine a child watching his mother make a cake for him. She mixes all the ingredients and places the batter in the oven… that child might sit in front of that oven and wait and wait and his dream of that cake drags on and on… but his mother knows, it’s not time. Even if, to satisfy the child’s longing, she removed the cake from the oven and scooped up some half-baked batter into a bowl, he wouldn’t enjoy it at all (and it could make him sick)! So, because of her goodness, she keeps him waiting until the appointed time! Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.” Keep waiting… keep hoping… keep trusting God!
Psalm 42.5 says, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.” When David was disappointed, HE REDIRECTED THE SOURCE OF HIS HOPE. He identified that his soul was restless and in despair and disturbed because His hope was NOT in God. Where is your hope today?
Hope in God! Wait expectantly for HIM! Be reminded today, my friends, that God’s “No” and God’s “Wait” are always, always, always for a greater glory! When Jesus was called to help a sick Lazarus, Jesus waited and Lazarus died. How disappointed everyone was with Jesus! He had the power to heal?! Why the delay?? They wanted Jesus to heal sickness… Jesus wanted to conquer death itself! God’s “No” is simply His “YES” to something even better!
Whatever He has said no to this year, rejoice! Whatever He has said wait to this year, rejoice! Don’t give into impatience or anxiety! We can talk ourselves out of waiting for the fulfillment or we can rush the process or we can fall short of what He intended for us by not waiting for the fullness and completion of His plan in His time.
God will never dis what He has appointed. Has He not spoken? Will He not make it good? Even though it may be unexpected, His how and when and where, trust Him. Trust Emmanuel. Trust that He is good. This Christmas, be reminded and let hope be rekindled in you – He is working in His mysterious ways for His great glory!
He’s guiding me now–this moment,
In pathways easy or hard,
Perhaps by a door wide open,
Perhaps by a door fast barred,
Perhaps by a joy withholden
Perhaps by a gladness given;
In ways that I know and know not,
He’s leading me up to heaven.
– Annie J. Flint
Prayer: Lord, I have been feeling disappointed in many ways with how this year has gone. But today, like David, I want to redirect my hope and place it in YOU, not in my desired outcomes, but You alone. You are good and wise and You see things I cannot see, You know the future and all that is to come. So if You have said “No” or “Wait” then I know I can fully trust it because I trust You. I rejoice today! I rejoice in Your kindness and goodness! I rejoice in Your wisdom and power! I rejoice for the opened doors and the closed doors! I rejoice in the waiting, because it can only be for a good reason! Lord, my hope is in You! I end this year declaring Your faithfulness! Amen!