Blessings in Disguise
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect [mature] and complete, needing nothing.”1
In much younger days I was the South Australian director of a youth ministry. Most of my ministry was teaching Religious Instruction (RI) classes in the public high schools. This was done through local churches. In one night the major denominations voted to withdraw from teaching RI in the schools. Their vote eliminated at least 90% of my work. I turned in my resignation but the board enforced my contract that required three months notice if I were ever to quit.
I thought they were being far less than reasonable. I had a job but no work. For something to do I started writing … and have been writing ever since.
Out of what seemed to be a very disappointing experience the work that I am doing today—over 30 years later—has grown far beyond what I could have ever dreamed possible. What happened to me back then was one of the best blessings of my life.
I have read how, during the Great Depression, Wallace Johnson, a dynamic Christian, was fired from his job at a saw mill. To Wallace and his wife this was a devastating loss. So what did Wallace do? He mortgaged his house and went into the building business. Within five years he was a multi-millionaire and was the founder of Holiday Inn.
Wallace said, “If I could locate the man who fired me I would sincerely thank him for what he did. At the time it happened, I didn't understand why I was fired. Later I saw that it was God's unerring and wondrous plan to get me into the ways of his choosing."
So, dear reader, are you going through a rough time—a time of loss or disappointment? If so, be sure to ask God what this painful experience is seeking to teach you and prepare you for so that you can become a more fruitful Christian and servant of the Lord.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, in all of life’s painful experiences please help me see that there is always some lesson You are seeking to teach me to help me become a more mature and fruitful Christian and a more effective witness of Your saving power. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. James 1:2-4 (NLT).