Using circumstances to label God’s will
Bible Reading: Acts 8:1-8
A brother once came to me for counseling. He said he was convinced God wanted him to embark on a particular project but all his efforts to actualize it had yielded no result. He then asked this very common question: If it is God’s will for me to do it, why am I experiencing difficulties along the way? Many Christians have found themselves in similar situations. They throw away God-given projects just because they experienced some difficulties along the way. In fact, I’ve noticed that when some believers share their difficult experiences in the projects they have embarked upon, the next suggestion you will most probably hear is – “may be it is not God’s will for you to do it”. Adversity is now popularly regarded as an indication that you are walking out of God’s will. Usually, this is not true.
Favorable circumstances don’t always mean you are walking in God’s will. For example, things went well initially for the prodigal son – His father granted his request; he traveled safely abroad; he met nice friends as soon as he landed in another city. But what was the end of his story? Similarly, Jonah was having a swell time until he found himself in the belly of a fish – he had a safe trip to Joppa even though God instructed him to go to Nineveh; when he got there, a ship heading to Tarshish was waiting for him; while on the ship, he was having a sound sleep in the midst of a raging storm. So the fact that things seem to be going on well now is not a sound basis for confirming that you are in tune with God’s will.
In like manner, unfavorable circumstances may not necessarily mean you are out of God’s will. Sometimes they even accelerate the fulfillment of God’s will in your life. The brothers of Joseph were the ones who attacked him, though they indirectly hastened his advancement towards the throne. Apostle Paul suffered betrayal from some of his closest pals in ministry. When the early believers were preaching, Bible recorded that they ‘faced a great wave of persecution’. Sometimes such circumstances are necessary to show and strengthen our conviction even as we walk in the will of God. Proverbs 24:10 says “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small”.
May be you should look back into your life to identify those areas where you easily chickened out from divine guidance/projects just because you faced a difficulty. If it is not too late, get back on track. Refuse to be a victim of circumstances. Instead, let the word of God be a lamp to your feet (Ps. 119:105) and ‘the peace of Christ guide you in the decisions you make’ (Colossians 3:15).
– tope aladenusi