SUGGESTED BIBLE READING: Acts 3:1-16
Have you ever had one of those days when jealousy, frustration, bitterness, resentment, or even anger crushed every bit of your joy and gratitude under the weight of discontent?
Have you ever struggled with wondering why God wouldn’t just give you what you wanted?
Over the last five years, I’ve had way too many mini-melt-downs when facing setbacks in my healing journey. I’ve cried out to God with sobs and silent heart-wrenching prayers.
Admitting my weaknesses, I begged for relief, for complete healing, for instant gratification to fulfill my I-want-it-now demands.
Oh, how thankful I am for the Lord’s sovereign goodness.
I’m grateful God doesn’t give in to my hissy-fits.
I praise Him for knowing what’s best for me, for blessing me with redirection and deliberate delays.
The more I see Him working in and through the circumstances He’s carrying me through, the more I’m beginning to realize I should be thanking Him for the silence that makes me turn to Him, depend on Him, submit to Him, and trust Him as He empowers me to surrender to Him . . . even when it hurts.
I still require time to process my emotions and am thankful for those amazing prayer warriors that intercede with prayers on my behalf when I’m way-beyond-my-breaking-point.
Don’t quit. Trust the Lord. God’s timing is perfect. God’s path is flawless. His faithfulness never disappoints.
Those are messages I need to hear, reminders that comfort me and help me dust off discouragement and press on with renewed hope.
When I release my selfish need for gratifying my sinful nature, which desperately wants to avoid suffering by any means necessary, I discover peace resides in the eye of the storm.
Cleaved to the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, I discover peace and joy ingrained in the fibers of my being.
That peace and joy become a part of me, instead of a feeling dependent on my circumstance or my emotional state. That peace and joy, rooted in an unshakeable hope in Christ, become a fragrant offering to others.
Often, it’s when we feel like we have nothing to offer that God uses us to affirm His faithfulness and encourage others toward persevering faith.
We may not be able to take away anyone’s pain or meet all, or any, of their physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental needs. But we know the One who can replenish empty wells, restore damaged roots, and rejuvenate weary souls.
Completely dependent on the abundance of God instead of our own power, or lack thereof, we know Christ is the best we have to offer others in need, no matter what their needs.
When the apostles Peter and John were headed to the temple to pray (Acts 3:1-16), a beggar asked them for a temporary fix (v. 3).
How often do we sell God short, begging for temporal solutions and quick relief when He offers so much more?
This beggar focused on his current problems.
Blinded by selfish expectations, he saw the apostles as a means to swift satisfaction. What could he get from them to make his present situation more bearable? (v. 5)
I admit there have been times when I’ve approached God and others with that same needy attitude.
The apostle didn’t mince words when he responded to the beggar’s request. He told him to look beyond the now. He cast a vision of hope and healing that this man, who’d been lame from birth, had probably never dared dream possible.
Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (v. 7)
The beggar had asked for a quick solution to his present needs, for temporary relief of his surface problems.
The apostle introduced him to Life.
The lame man walked and jumped, praising God (v. 8). His existence became a testimony of the Lord’s power and mercy, causing others to stand amazed at what the Lord had done (vv. 9-10).
But the miracle didn’t end at this man’s ability to walk.
When this man received his deliverance, he could have said thanks and settled right back into the safety of complacency we often confuse with contentment.
But Scripture says “the people saw him walking and praising God” (v. 9). He moved forward, bringing God glory with every step, every breath, every word he spoke when he explained what had happened to him.
He became a living testimony of God’s loving mercy and life-changing power.
Peter gave God all the credit He deserved (vv. 11-12). He pointed to the Savior with adoration and grateful worship, turning the focus back to the foundation of their faith−Jesus, always and only, Jesus (vv. 13-16).
Because of our human frailty, we often desire instant gratification and relief.
We’re often limited by our inability to hope, to believe there is more to life than just getting by or surviving.
God offers us unlimited freedom, joy, power, and peace that cannot be constricted by our past or current struggles or strife.
What a sad moment it would be if God granted us what we wanted, only to discover He was prepared to offer us an abundance we’d never imagined possible.
Why should we love God when He doesn’t give us what we want?
Because our all-knowing and never-changing Lord is loving, faithful, trustworthy, and good.
Our Heavenly Father sees beyond our begging for bandages, our frail hopes to alleviate discomfort for now.
Our Good Shepherd uses every experience in our lives to refine our character.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, our loving Lord Jesus Christ makes us more like Him, preparing us to walk the path from better to the Father’s best.
Lord, You are worthy of all our praise and all our trust and all our love. When we’re tempted to be deceived by our selfish sin-nature, help us remember You will never disappoint us. Prepare our hearts and minds to be forever changed by Your goodness, as we surrender our wants and stand firm in the center of Your perfect will. In Jesus’s name, Amen
Describe a time when you were upset that the Lord didn’t give you what you wanted, only to realize He had something better in store for you.
Photo taken by and meme created by Xochitl E. Dixon.