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For a year and a half I diligently studied Korean. I had been invited to teach at a blind school in Seoul, and wanted to be prepared. At the appointed time I applied for my entry visa into Korea, and was confident that in a few short weeks I would be on my way. Two weeks later, the consulate called to say that my application had been denied. No reason was given.
Sure that this was from the evil one, my church family gathered around me and prayed for God to intervene. He didn't. Finally I called the headquarters of my mission sending organization and asked what I should do.
"Well ... would you be willing to go to Africa instead?"
One week later I had swapped my Korean dictionary for a French one, dug out all my summer clothes, and my arm still smarting from all the required shots, arrived in Senegal, West Africa. I later learned that the Senegalese team hadn't wanted any more short-termers. They decided to give me a chance since it was too much trouble to send me back.
Sometimes God shows us his plans by "the scenic route." Heidi S. Hess
God doesn't want perfect performances but loving persons; he is not a stage manager but a lover. Being counts more than doing, the singer more than the song. We learn by the mistakes we make and the sufferings they bring. If we haven't made half a dozen mistakes today, we aren't trying hard enough. Even Jesus, according to Scripture, learned obedience "according to suffering." Are we better than he is? Peter Kreeft
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To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The Lord works out everything for his own ends- even the wicked for a day of disaster. The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil. When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. Proverbs 16:1-7
God's Word Is a Sure Light in Life's Darkest Moments
Sometimes rotten things happen. It's a fact of life. And yet, as Christians we have access to a source of comfort and guidance that can get us through our loneliest and hardest times. His Word is an unfailing source of help.
Our capacity to feel, to think, and to experience is so great-to taste the sweetness of joy that life can bring, to bask in the peace of God, to worship on the mountaintops, to ride high on loving and being loved. All of these are wonderful and precious gifts, and I'm so thankful for them as I journey through this earthly life.
But oh, the downfall when we rely on these experiences as the truth or believe them as the absolute. For when the sweetness goes sour, the storm comes raging in, the dryness hits, or the loneliness prevails, we must continually remember that God's truth never changes. My feelings do, my circumstances do, but his truth never does. Kathy Troccoli
The psalms are a great place to turn when you need a road map through the wilderness. It is somehow encouraging to know that even the great King David, a man after God's own heart, had the same feelings of despair that we do. It somehow lifts our spirits to know that when he was being chased around the literal desert at the point of King Saul's spear, he struggled with his relationship to God. This man whom Scripture calls "the apple of God's eye" sometimes felt like a bowl of rotten fruit.
Although I resonate with David's questions and fears and pleas in the first two-thirds of Psalm 13, I rest in his final two verses: "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me." Dave Dravecky
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Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word. Accept, O Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law.... My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end. Psalm 119:105-9, 112
Excerpted from Bright Hope for Your Future Copyright © 1999 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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