Seek Ye First

This morning, in church, the pastor shared a story with us. He told us about a woman who was on a mission trip and landed at Singapore airport on the way. She was mistaken for a wanted criminal (she looked like the person), so she was thrown into a dirty, nasty prison. No phone call, no contact with the outside world. She spent a few days in there before the authorities realised that they had the wrong woman and let her go. While she was in prison, she understandably had some questions for God, as most of us probably would. Why me? I was on a missions trip, what did I do wrong? Why am I being punished? What is the meaning of this? If I were in her place I would probably have had the same questions. While she was in prison, she had the opportunity to minister to a woman and lead her to Christ. Talk about making the best of a bad situation.

I have shared about some issues which I have been dealing with of late, and I don’t want to appear to equate my problems with someone thrown into a Singapore prison, but we need to deal with all problems the same way. I wrote a post called Faith & Endurance which explains about this, so I won’t go into too much detail this time, although I wish to share what I have learned since the last article. We end up in problem situations sometimes, that is just a fact. There are two thoughts as to why we end up there – one says that God puts us through them to teach us something, and the other says that God uses situations to teach us but He doesn’t create the problems. I am a firm believer of the second one. Regardless of how the situation comes about, we should approach it in the same manner. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Whether God has created the problem, or whether we got ourselves into the situation, the way we should approach it is the same. The Bible says to trust God and have faith in Him.

Before the pastor shared this story, a verse came to my mind. Matthew 6:23. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. I thought that this fitted in nicely with what was being preached. I have been struggling through a few issues of late, and have been asking some of the same questions that the lady in prison asked (although my problems are nowhere as difficult as hers were). What I have learned is that I need to focus on the Kingdom of God, not on the issues. God wants us to have life in abundance but we need to use the problems to strengthen us. I kept asking the question “why me?”. Maybe it was because God is calling me into something that will require even more faith. Maybe this is providing me with exactly what I will need in the future. We all want to be in shape (physically), have low body fat and ripped muscles (maybe just the guys on the last one), but do we like to exercise? I’m not saying that I will enjoy what I am going through, but I will do my best to focus on the Kingdom of God and use this experience to grow and get stronger.

In the meantime, God has blessed us in unexpected ways that lessen the sting of the problem. It is by no means solved, but the effects have been lessened thanks to some answered prayers from God. I know that there will be an end to the issues in the near future but, until then, I want to thank God for the opportunity to learn and to grow, especially my faith in Him. I will endeavour to seek first the Kingdom of God. I will leave the ‘everything I need’ part up to God. Is this easy? No. Will I get it 100% right all of the time? Probably not, but I will make the most of the opportunity.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Richard

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