"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

July 15, 2015

Wednesdays in the Word

I love the holy HOWEVERS in the Bible. They are the times of disappointment or seeming defeat that God turns around to work for good. And He's so good at that!

Let's take Samson for example:
Why he ever thought hanging out with a woman determined to bring about his downfall was a good idea, I'll never know. She kept trying to figure out the secret to his strength and then tried to extinguish it and hand him over to his enemies. Talk about flirting with danger! 
She finally succeeded and I think this is one of the saddest verses in the Bible: 
"He (Samson) did not know that the Lord had departed from him." : ( 
And then it gets worse: 
"The Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the the prison."

"HOWEVER, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven." : ) 
"Samson called out to the Lord saying "O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God..." 
And we know how it ends! He sacrificed his life to kill the enemies of Israel by pushing over the pillars holding the building everyone was standing in and on. Then it says "the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life." 
Even in his humiliation, God allowed his defeat to turn into a victory.

In Acts 3, we see that Peter and John encountered a man who was lame from birth, as they were going into the temple. Peter said "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk" and he does! This caused quite the stir and a large crowd gathered. Peter took that opportunity to share Jesus with them. The angry religious leaders had Peter and John arrested and "put in custody until the next day, for it was already evening."

"HOWEVER, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men (coming to Christ) came to be about five thousand."
How great is that?! Well worth a night in prison!

God can always take what looks like a defeat and make it into a victory. The ultimate example being Christ's death on the cross. In that moment, His death SEEMED to be a defeat to all who loved Him but His resurrection turned it into the most glorious victory in human history which brought about redemption for the world!
So, you see, He's a pro at this! Holy HOWEVERS are His thing!
And He can turn your disappointments into victories at well.
I plan to be on the lookout for more of them... in the Word and in my life. : )


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