2008-04-30 / Religion

'Make the Best of It!'

(Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

The ability to wait for change is not a natural attribute for most of us. I am reminded of this when I pay attention to advertisements about weightloss. Many of them make claims of significantresults with little time and effort. The promise sounds good, but the outcome is usually disappointing. Most people give up when the desired effect cannot be seen right away.

The desire for things to happen hurriedly and on our schedule has followed us into our spiritual lives as well. Sometimes God does things in us quickly, at times even instantly. And then there are the times when we seek Him for intervention, and it just does not seem to come when we think it ought to. What do we do in those times? Make the best of it! That does not mean we cease to ask and believe God for the answer to whatever the dilemma or trouble might be. There is great value in being persistent in prayer. But as we wait, we must learn to appreciate and practice what Paul stated in Philippians 4:12: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (NIV). The next verse acknowledges the Source by which this is possible: "I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength."

As God's people in the Old Testament went through a time of waiting while held captive in a foreign land, God told them to do something that probably cut against what they had expected: "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce" (Jeremiah 29:5). God went so far as to tell them that it would be 70 years before they could return to their homeland. The false prophet Hananiah told them they would return to Jerusalem in only two years. As always, God's Word prevailed, and 70 years passed before their return home just as God promised.

As we wait on God to bring about deliverance in our situations, and as we make the best of our current circumstances, we can rest assured that God has a plan for each of His children. We might not be able to see or understand His plan at the moment, but we can be certain that His plan is perfect and trustworthy. Even as they were in exile in a foreign land because of their sin and rebellion against God, God told His people that "I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). Those of that day probably wanted a quick solution for their need just as we do for ours, but they had to wait for God's timing to bring about His plan for them, so must we.

Paul said he had "learned the secret of being content." As you exercise your contentment in Christ and wait upon His intervention in your life, make the best of your time by remembering that God has a plan for you. His plan is perfect, and it will prevail in the lives of those who trust Him.

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