#memoryverse Proverbs 16:9 ~ when things go “wrong.”

John Piper quote God is doing 10000 things#memoryverse

“The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

One of the most difficult things I’ve experienced in my striving to follow God’s guidance in my life is when

I pray, persistently,
I seek wisdom from His word and from faith-filled brothers and sisters in Christ,
I “count the cost” and
I make a decision that I’m am confident is one that follows the leading of the Holy Spirit, a decision that – through all the dependent tasks and decisions leading up to it – is covered in God’s fingerprints.

And then the outcome is ab.so.flippin.lutely. HORRIBLE.

How does this happen?

WHY does this happen?

Because the outcome is only horrible from my point of view.

Sometimes, after making plans and following through, circumstances go as expected and everything makes sense.

Sometimes, after making plans and following through, circumstances exceed my hopes and expectations and even my imagination and I’m left in awe of what God can do when I have the courage and motivation to be obedient and if I don’t fight back or dig my heels in while I stand in His way.

Sometimes, after making plans and following through, circumstances tank.
Things go horribly wrong and I doubt my understanding of every single answer to prayer I received leading up to that moment. I doubt my ability to interpret what scripture taught me about my decision. I doubt the wise words from brothers and sisters in Christ.

I don’t doubt God. I’m confident HE got it right. I doubt myself. MY ability to get it right.

Sometimes, after circumstances tank,

(1) I immediately get to see how God redeems the situation, often through the unexpected benefit of someone else or someone being drawn closer to and more dependent on Christ.

Sometimes, after circumstances tank,

(2) I find out months or years later how God redeemed my “failure.”

Sometimes, after circumstances tank,

(3) God never shows me or tells me why.

I hate door number 3 the most.

I’ll admit, there have been seasons of my life where a “failure” has resulted in paralyzation. I’ve spent months bogged down in fear of making another “mistake.”

prayer can never be in excess SpurgeonPrayer has been the antidote every time. Prayer leading to dependence on Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Will I make another “mistake?”

Count on it.

I may lie low for a while and regroup, but when I persist in prayer – not necessarily prayer for a “do-over” or for God to “fix” something – but prayer for God to draw me closer to Him, for Him to bless me with the ability to see people and the world through HIS greater perspective instead of from through my own limited limited and skewed vantage point, my courage is restored.

My confidence in Him overshadows my lack of confidence in myself.

The next decision presents itself and I face it with Him. I make plans, giving Him veto power. I make plans knowing the outcome isn’t up to me.

I’ll be honest. I don’t always like the outcome. But I make plans in faith, knowing His ways are higher than my ways.

Your insights are welcome! (profanity and sarcasm, not so much)

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