Fresh Hope – 27th March 2018

A short cut is often the longest way between two points.

Exodus 13:17-18 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by the desert road towards the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

The Bible says that God didn’t lead the Israelites on the easiest route towards the promised land, because they were not ready for war.

He had to toughen them up so that they would be prepared for what He had in store.

Don’t get discouraged by trouble and say, “God, why is this happening to me?” That trouble is not going to defeat you; it’s going to promote you. It’s not hindering you; it’s preparing you.

Many years ago when I was working as a chef, I was suffering from the flu, but was responsible for opening up the kitchen for all the staff one day. The weather was freezing and as I walked into the huge refrigerators later on my shift, I was feeling so low that I literally, there and then, cried out to God and asked Him what this part of my life was all about. I can still hear His voice ringing in my ears all these years later as He replied “it’s all good preparation”. I could do nothing more than get on with my job and believe that God had everything in hand.

At that time I was heading up a team of 20 staff and cooking 4000 meals a week. I couldn’t understand what meaning any of this had in the grand scheme of things, and yet God used that time in order to ‘toughen’ me up for all the leadership challenges that I would be facing later in my life as I led Champions Church.

Had I have taken a short cut, God knew that I would have failed miserably.

I challenge you today to not only trust God when the road is smooth and you can see exactly where you are going, but learn to trust Him in times of trouble when you have no idea where you are going, let alone what’s around the corner.

You may not understand your life right now, but know that He is still directing your steps. You don’t have to live feeling stressed out because you’ve had a bad break, or discouraged because of disappointment; that trouble means you are on your way to your destiny.

Don’t believe the lie that if only you could get a quick break everything would be ok…it won’t. The best way for both you and I is the long way round!

Yes it’s slow, but it’s also sure.

You are merely getting ready for battle, so stand in line with the rest of us and wait and see what God can do.

Always remember, God is NEVER in a rush. He would rather thoroughly prepare you through pain, rather than watch you be defeated at the first hurdle and never return to the race.

James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.