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August 22, 2022

Setback or Setup?


How do you view the trials in your life?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)

God is developing you and shaping you into the person you were created to be. You may be thinking God is taking things away from you, but He is adding more to you than you realize. Instead of asking, “God, why is this happening to me?”, ask, “God, how will you use this trial to mature me and complete me?”

There are no skipping steps with God.

Pastor Eli focused on the story of Joram, King of Israel, Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, and Elisha, a prophet of God in 2 Kings chapter 3. This passage illustrates how we have to prepare for the blessings of God. Even when God’s instructions don’t make sense, we have to trust that He knows best, and He will be faithful to fulfill His promises.

A blessing at the wrong time is a curse.

You have to be ready to carry the responsibility of the blessing God has for you. God won’t give you the blessing if you’re not ready for it. You have to go through trials to become more like Christ so you can carry what He has prepared for you.

“Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’” 2 Kings 3:15b-16 (NKJV)

The people were desperate for rain. They were suffering in a drought and Elisha said the Lord told them to start digging ditches in the valley. Prepare for the blessing. Dig ditches to prepare for the rain that is coming. Even if it doesn’t make sense. The blessing is coming. Just because you’re in a desert doesn’t mean you can’t dig. We sometimes don’t take the next step because we think it’s insignificant. But the blessing won’t come unless we are obedient to what He first asked us to do.

“For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’ And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.” 2 Kings 3:17-18 (NKJV)

You won’t see how the blessing is going to come, but you just need to keep doing what God told you to do. The water was available only because they were obedient. Your role is obedience. God’s role is the outcome. What are you doing right now to prepare for the blessing? That God-given gift isn’t going to grow unless you sow. Know that God hears your prayers. He’s already answering and working. The rain is on the way. What you thought was sent to destroy you was actually sent to position you.

“You matter more than you think you do, and it is less about you than you think it is.” ~ Pastor Eli Nelson
Your setback is actually a setup.

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