Working in the lumber business you meet a lot of...men. Not like that...I just mean that most of the people in this business are men. In my 9 years of selling lumber, I have met many egotistical, arrogant, obnoxious characters. However, I have also met many wise, interesting, joyful men and women. One of these men, we shall call him L, is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is in his seventies and retired now but I learned a great deal from him. Not only about lumber and business, but also life. L still comes by to say hi and drop off a brochure that he never fails to bring by every couple of months. The brochure is called 'The Word For You Today' and it is one of the best daily devotionals that I have ever come across. His church prints them every 3 months and he has been bringing them to me for years. I have learned so much from these daily paragraphs and they have gotten me through a lot of rough times so I thought I would share with you some of my favorites on Mondays. I hope ya'll enjoy them as much as I do. I made the parts that really stood out to me bold.
Direction through persecution
The Bible says: "As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:3-4). How did the New Testament church grow? Through persecution. It's the bad times, not just the good ones that cause us to grow. We receive direction through persecution. Sometimes those who attack us are agents of the Lord, without even knowing it. God uses them to get us where we need to be, then, like Joseph, we look back years later and say "You meant it for evil but God meant it for good" (Ge 50:20). We cry because someone slammed a door in our face, but in retrospect we are able to say, "It was the best thing that could have happened to me."
The Psalmist wrote "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Ps 84:11). If God is allowing you to go through a tough time then it must be for your good. Or it's for the good of others and you are the instrument He's using to bring it about. Understanding this moves you to a deeper dimension in your walk with God. But every new dimension brings a new level of opposition. The enemy won't give up without a fight. Whether the battle is over your family, finances, health, business or ministry, expect three things: 1) The closer you get to victory the more intense the battle becomes. 2) What matters is not your comfort, but what you're called to do. 3) Your victory has been ordained by God, so keep fighting!
These 2 particular paragraphs got me through some tough obstacles in my life not too long ago. I really hope that anyone out there going through something hard right now can read these paragraphs and feel just a little bit better and know that you are not alone and it won't last forever. God promises us that! :)