This Can't be God's Will
This can't be God's will! Have you ever felt this way in life? You were certain You heard God right. You were certain you were on the path He wanted you on. You were certain you were being obedient. But instead of things going the way you thought they would, they went horribly, terribly wrong. At least that's what it feels like.
It's easy when it feels like life is going off the rails to come to the conclusion- "I must have missed something." After all, if God called me to this, it shouldn't be like this! We have this assumption that if it is God's plan, things will go well. They may not be easy, but in the end, it will all be worth it. But what do you do when you're looking around and it's hard to see God anywhere?
It just takes a quick peek into scripture to debunk the myth that God's will for your life will always be smooth. Just take His closest followers as case studies: The Apostle James was executed. Peter was jailed and eventually crucified upside down. Philip was stoned to death. John was banished to the Isle of Patmos. Many believers were arrested, beaten and sometimes even killed for their faith. The journey for Jesus' followers was anything but painless. Did they miss something? Were they not following God's call?
The reality is they were right in the center of God's call. You see, contrary to popular opinion, the center of God's call isn't always the safest and most comfortable place. Comfort isn't a sign you've missed God's call, but neither is suffering. God calls us where He needs us, and sometimes that place is pretty dark.
John the Baptist is a great example of this. Sitting in his prison cell, John received word of the miracles Jesus was doing. But he was still in prison. He sent a message to Jesus, asking if Jesus was really the Messiah. John had proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. But in John's version of how he saw his story going, he didn't end up in prison. His circumstances were causing him to doubt if Jesus was the real deal. Look at Jesus' reply:
Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.” (Matthew 11:4-6 NLT)
That's a huge statement: God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.
Here's what Jesus was really saying. "John, you know who I am. The evidence is everywhere. Don't lose faith because the path I have you on seems rough. Keep your eye on the bigger picture."
I don't know what you have faced in life. I don't know what's causing you to be tempted to lose faith or to "fall away" from Jesus. Keep the faith. God's will is sometimes easy and it sometimes costs us everything. Keep the faith.