I have found that when my plans fail, I will sometimes be so blessed to discover that is where God’s plans succeed. His good plans are often hidden within the disappointments or troubles we may find ourselves in. We need to learn to trust God even when we don’t understand what He is up to.
Faith believes that God can do anything even when He doesn’t. “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible'” (Mark 10:27).
My brother-in-law is a Pastor, and I asked him if he would come into the prison with me one night to preach at the chapel. We got him and two of the Pastors on his staff all signed up to come in. It took weeks to get their paperwork cleared so that I could escort them in for this one night.
Patience is more important than effort when doing kingdom work. “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient” (2 Timothy 2:24).
Finally, the night came, and we all met at the prison to go in. But at the first gate, one of the Pastors who came with my brother-in-law set off the alarm, and as it turns out had a metal pin inside of him. Without medical approval for this pin, there was no way he could come in.
When it doesn’t make any sense, that is where faith begins. “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
So, we went in without him, and he went off to get something to eat. They had come in one car, so he had to wait nearby until we were finished. I felt so bad for him as I know he was excited about coming in and ministering to these men at the prison.
Don’t let your expectations get in the way of God’s plan for your life. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
We went inside and it was an excellent service. I remember one part was especially powerful. It was a short video about a ministry my brother-in-law did going into Southern Sudan. He was ministering to the military chaplains for the southern Sudanese army. This video was a call to live the life of godly men, willing to sacrifice all for the kingdom and their families.
The higher faith is not from knowing more but trusting more. “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:8).
Afterward, we came out of the prison and met this man who had gone out to eat. While at the restaurant he met a young man and ended up witnessing to him and led him to the Lord Jesus. Had he not been prevented from entering the prison, this young man he witnessed to may never have heard the gospel nor come to salvation.
Our faith can be so full, that it spills over onto those around us. “…that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me” (Romans 1:12).
God had us minister in the prison that night, and I am sure the men in the prison were blessed. But in the problems of getting everyone into the prison, God was working out a better plan. We see so clearly in our natural that we often do not perceive the supernatural going on around us. The things we think are getting in the way may actually be the things God is causing to bring His plans to fruition.
In the kingdom, it is more important that we have faith than we have the things our faith is hoping for. “Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1 CEV).
Learn to rest in your circumstances, trusting God is sovereign over them all. Learn to see what God has in mind when your plans seem to unravel. Learn to see opportunity where others only see obstacles. Learn to pray that God would show you the way when you cannot see it. Keep walking in faith, even when you don’t understand what God is doing.
Blessings to you,
All Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. Review with the version you prefer. The best version is the one you read. An even better version is the one you live.