Does God intervene or is He at work all the time?

I had a conversation with Joey Bonifacio the other day. He is mostly in Singapore these days and I get to see him for a few days every month when he is in Manila. And when he is, I make sure I get some time with him for he always challenges, inspires and pushes me to keep levelling up, innovating and keep thinking of ways to make things better.

He asked me during our lunch, “Does God intervene or is He at work all the time?”

I had to think long and hard for I catch myself say the phrase “God intervened in my situation.”

In Genesis 50, Joseph is reunited with his father and siblings after decades of being in Egypt. His brothers mistreated him and sold him into slavery. He was falsely accused by Mrs. Potiphar and thrown into prison. But what seemed to be a bad situation, God used for the good. He met a baker and a cupbearer who had dreams Jospeh interpreted. This opened a door for him to do something similar when Pharaoh had a dream. As a result, it earned him the spot of being second in command over all of Egypt.

Because of this, his family found intervention to their situation due to the famine they were experiencing in their homeland.

But when Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers were afraid that he would take revenge for all they’ve done to him. Wha was Joseph’s response?

“Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:19-20)

Somehow, Joseph saw the hand of God through all that he had gone through and trusted that God had a plan. And indeed He did. He was setting something up for Joseph though he didn’t see it.

We can only see the full extent of what God is doing through the rear view mirror.

The Bible says in Psalm 121:4, “Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
When we’re asleep, God is still
at work.

When we wake up, He continues to work all things together for our good but ultimately for His glory.

We will realize that the hand of God was at work the whole time only after everything’s been said and done. He is in charge. He is in control and nothing surprises Him.

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank You that You are at work the whole time and that nothing escapes your attention. You are Lord of heaven and earth. But You are also Lord of the circumstances of my life. Elevate my perspective to see Your hand always at work and to trust You that You have my best interest in Your mind for Your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Blog Banners.001I spoke to a young man one time and told me that he was upset with God. He prayed and God did not answer. He went to church and did all he can to serve the ministry and yet the one thing he asked God for, God didn’t give.

“God failed me.”

It’s not uncommon that people would feel this. They may not articulate it but it can definitely cross their mind.

I remember Paul the apostle praying for the church in Ephesus:

May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

Everything that God does flows from who He is. His nature dictates His ways. Because He is love, His ways are always loving. Because He is gracious, His ways are always gracious. Because He is merciful, His ways are always merciful. And because He is holy, His ways are always guided by His holiness.

Isaiah 45:9 declares this truth:

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’

God is the Shaper, not just of our lives but of every life in the planet. He sees the end from the beginning thus giving Him a perspective that we don’t.

I will trust the perspective of a person looking from a watch tower than of one right in the thick of a battle. But even that, his perspective is still limited though he is coming from a way better vantage point.

God declares:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

As we start this week, it may seem that God has failed you because what you asked for, you didn’t get. But know this, His thoughts for you cannot be outnumbered. They cannot even be counted for they outnumber the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18)

Lord, I thank you for who You are – Loving, Almighty, Alpha and Omega, Heavenly Father, Lifter of my head. There are lots of things I can’t seem to compute in my mind as far as the events that come my way. But I make a decision to trust you this week because I know that you are more than able to cause all things to work together for those who love You and are called to Your purposes. Not my will but Yours be done. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

 

 

 

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PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11581147@N06/

There are a lot of things I didn’t understand before yet I finally did some time after.

When my mom used to say, “I’m disciplining you now because you’ll appreciate it later.”
When my basketball coach said, “Practice these drills daily and you’ll get better.”
When my small group leader said, “Honor your dad… period.”

Aside from this, there are many things that happen in my life that I didn’t see God’s hand at work but had me astonished in the end because I didn’t see it coming.

… when my parents broke up before my first birthday.
… when my mom lost the battle to cancer when I was 19 and left me practically “orphaned”.
… when I lost money on a wrong investment.
… when my youngest son had 2 cysts in his brain.

But behind the scenes I didn’t realize God was working something out. God is a turn around specialist who is able to cause all things to work for my good and ultimately for His glory. ALL THINGS. Not just some or a few but all. And this includes the good and the bad.

Because I grew up in a single parent home, God gave me a greater compassion to minister to the next generation when I became a children’s ministry pastor.
Because I was practically orphaned at 19, I had to grow up really quick to take care of my younger brother which stretched my faith to believe God for greater things now that I am married.
Because I lost money on a wrong investment, I know better what Proverbs 13:11 means. (“Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.”)
Because my son went through what he went through, we saw the hand of God work out a miracle in his life and in ours.

Jesus said, “You do not realize now what I am doing,
but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)

This is a truth packed verse.

There are a lot of things in life we don’t see for we only get the benefit of the now. But God who is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last sees the end from the beginning.

By this truth, I am assured, comforted and confident.

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PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/linderrox/