TOPIC: God’s Will > Mine
Scripture: Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. — Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMPC)
Today’s Joyce Meyer Daily Devotional 15 September 2020 Message
Like most people, I usually know what I want, and I like to get it. When we don’t get what we want, our negative, frustrated feelings flare up (and remember—those feelings began with thoughts). Ever heard yourself say—or think—something like this?
“I put in my mobile order an hour ago. Why don’t you have it ready?”
“What do you mean there’s no HDTVs left? Your ad said the sale was through the end of this week.”
Most of us have moments like that, and when we don’t get what we want, we can easily make the people around us miserable.
As I was writing this, I remembered a scene I once saw in the grocery store. A young mother was pushing her cart along and stopped by the cereal. Her child—who was under 2 years old—reached out for a box, saying, “Want! Want!”
“No,” the mother said. “We have plenty at home.” She put a different box of cereal in the cart.
“Want! Want!” the child said over and over. Getting no response, she began to kick and scream. To the mom’s credit, though, she didn’t give in, but kept pushing the cart to another aisle and distracted her child.
As I watched this play out, I thought, That’s the way we all are most of the time. We decide what we want, and when we don’t get it, we’re angry. This reminds me of two people I talked to about some irritating situations.
“Jack and I were both up for the same promotion. I’ve been with the company longer, and my sales figures are stronger,” Donna said. “I deserved it, but he got the job.”
“I had an overall grade of 98 going into my final essay test,” Angie said. “If I’d made another 100, it would’ve given me a 4.0 average GPA, and I would have been the top student in my graduating class. But I only got an 83 on the test, which dropped me down to fifth in my class. I deserved a 100, but my teacher doesn’t like me.”
Let’s look at these statements more closely. Both Donna and Angie, disgruntled about not getting what they wanted, ultimately said the same thing: “I deserved it, but I didn’t get it.” We often think the same thing when we don’t get something we expected to have. The truth is, focusing on how much we feel we deserve it won’t help us get it any sooner. In fact, it will only keep us miserable and hinder us from trusting God to lead, guide and direct our lives.
Too often, we as Christians expect everything to go smoothly for us. We expect success, happiness, joy, peace, and everything else, all with minimal effort, and when that doesn’t happen, we pout, complain, or let self-pity creep in.
Although God definitely wants us to have a good life, there will be times when we have to be patient and learn to be okay with not having our way. These disappointments test our character and level of spiritual maturity, and they show whether or not we’re truly ready for promotion. A humble attitude enables us to take a backseat and wait for God to move us to the front. God’s Word says that we inherit His promises through faith and patience. It’s easy to believe God is good when things are going well, but can we continue to trust Him when we’re facing something that seems unfair?
Thinking about this, I remember the story of Jonah—not the whale part—but what happened afterward. He had announced to the people of Nineveh that in 40 days God would destroy the city, but they repented and God forgave them. Because God listened to their cries, Jonah was so angry that he said, “… Lord, I beseech You, take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live” (Jonah 4:3 AMPC).
Sad, isn’t it? Jonah would rather have been right than to see 120,000 lost people saved. Our situations aren’t usually that dramatic, but the principle is similar. So many people would rather sit and feel sorry for themselves, letting bitterness and jealousy fester in their hearts than to get up, trust God to make a way for them, and experience the joy He does want to give them.
The secret of the Christian life is that we commit ourselves fully to God. If we surrender our wills to Him, what happens may frustrate us in the moment, but with His help, we’ll be able to let go of bitterness and self-pity, and move forward into what He’s calling us to do. When we’re willing to let God work in our hearts to help us have a healthy, humble attitude, He gives us the grace to endure when things don’t go our way, and we position ourselves so we can grow closer to Him.
Prayer Starter: Father, please help me. I often have strong desires, and when I don’t get what I want, I get upset, but I don’t want to stay here. Thank You for giving me the grace I need to be patient and keep the right attitude when things don’t go my way. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Joyce Meyer Daily Devotional 15 September 2020 Message– Joyce Meyer is an American Charismatic Christian author and speaker and president of Joyce Meyer Ministries. Joyce and her husband Dave have four grown children.