Shaken

Esther 2:8   (KJV)   So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

Beyond her control, Esther’s life was drastically and dramatically changed. Before this, there was nothing spectacular about her life prior to what we know now. But her life was Esther 2.8 - Shakenchanged suddenly because of a king’s edict—an imperial king who would eventually become her husband.

Our lives get shaken once and a while—like everyone else’s. When that happens, others get extremely troubled. There’s confusion, there’s doubt, there’s denial, and even loss of faith. But contingencies are real. They’re inevitable, no matter how well laid out our plans and preparations are. But when unexpected things happen that shake us, even at times to the very core of our being, as unpleasant as they may seem; as out of control as they may be, we don’t lose our peace; we don’t lose sleep over them. Instead, we flow with what God allows—restfully, knowing that He will work out everything for our best.

Our most trustworthy God, You’re in control of everything; this is very reassuring to us. No matter what happens, we know there’s not a time and there will never be a time when things are not working out for our best. You are able to—in your incomprehensible wisdom—accomplish that. Help us to see how You’re not just allowing and tolerating situations as You carry us and protect us through them, but You utilize those seemingly unpleasant surprises to direct us, and even catapult us to our destiny. Who can equal to such wisdom? Thank You Dad, in Jesus’ Name, amen.

God’s Plans, Our Plans

Matthew 1:20   (KJV)   20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

We have plans. The more important our decisions are, the more we think of them. We spend more time trying to see if our decisions are the right ones. And that’s good. God has wisely given us brains for us to use. But in our planning, we also have God’s plans to matthew-1-20-gods-plans-our-plansconsider—first and foremost. We know it’s true; we’re convinced it’s true: God’s plans are much better than our plans. But isn’t it interesting how there are times when people get a little shaken when He does things differently?

The thing here is, we have our comfort zones, and we don’t want our quiet, safe spaces to be shaken. People get rattled when this happens. And we’re just referring to situations when something else happens instead of what we expect. What if we add cases wherein what happens is beyond our control? Oh boy, the more people tend to get frantically alarmed. Do we ever consider the possibility that when impossible situations come, God may be setting us up for a blessing so especial, so life-changing, even earth-shaking, that when we finally find out about it, our mouths drop in awe? I do.

That’s how God often operates. He’s predictable in many ways, that’s why we can depend on Him. He has clearly revealed so many things in His Word, that’s why we believe what we believe and we behave the way we do. He does what He says He would do, that’s why we depend on Him. But then there are those “secret things” that belong to Him alone, and then there are those things that He reveals to us progressively. Joseph knew that a Messiah would be born, but He didn’t know that was it. Things went fast for Joseph, but the seeming drawback became perhaps the greatest miracle He’s ever experienced in His life.

We plan to the best of our knowledge and ability so that our plans are aligned to God’s plans. If God’s plans are different, we gladly surrender our plans to His. If necessary, God reveals His plans to us—even if they require miracles to do it. When He does, we see how life’s seeming “disturbances” are actually life-changing miracles and blessings. That’s how Christmas started; that’s what Christmas is: a series of wonderful miracles.

God’s Plans Fulfilled

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Revelation 10:7   (KJV)   7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

All of God’s sovereign plans will be accomplished; there’s no force—human or demonic that can stop, derail, or delay what He has purposed. There are those who work contrary to God’s will and God’s plans; some, knowingly and deliberately; some, unknowingly and ignorantly. But whatever the nature is of any deterrence to what God declares, they will all fail. God’s plans will prevail. It will be a horrible time for His enemies; it will be glorious for us.

We look forward to that time; we look up and watch, when the curtains of the mysteries of God open, when we understand them, and when the things existing in our faith become visible. People can say whatever they want to say. Many people today think we’re deceived, that we believe in fairy tales, that we’re hurting others for leading them astray, that we’re propagating a lie, that we’re enemies of progress. It’s not always easy, but we patiently bear the burdens.

We will be vindicated. Just because there are more people and louder voices deriding us doesn’t mean we’re wrong; majority isn’t always right. We look like underdogs in this conflict, but we’re the underdogs who are guaranteed with victory. This assurance comes from Someone Who has seen the end from the beginning. Systems and ideologies come and go; kings and kingdoms rise and fall, history will continue to have expected and unexpected twists and turns, but all these lead to the fulfillment of God’s decrees. We often hear people say, “There’s nothing sure here on earth;” this is true if God isn’t in the equation. But God doesn’t change; His promises are true. What He says will happen will happen. This is the anchor of our hope; this is the solid rock we stand on. We’re right, and everyone—even our accusers will recognize this.

Loving Victory

Psalm 13:4-5  (HCSB)   My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in Your deliveranceI

It was the pride and joy of the enemy to see David shaken and fallen. Yes, David – the man after God’s own heart was shaken. Despite that, he didn’t lose heart; he had faith. He knew that joy was his; he believed that deliverance will come. His assurance was in knowing, believing and trusting that God loved him.

Our enemies’ victories are not final; the final score will declare God and His people triumphant. God’s seeming silence in the middle of attacks against Him and us doesn’t mean He’s carelessly indifferent and inactive; it doesn’t mean that He doesn’t care. Simply, He isn’t threatened and He isn’t worried. We shouldn’t be either. He loves us; His plans for us are still good and never evil. His plans are still to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future. Those haven’t changed; and neither has He. His deliverance will come; His will will be done, the final victory has been won.

Our loving and victorious God, Please help us to really learn to see everything through the eyes of faith. The enemies may declare their triumph, but may we see the reality of their defeat. The enemies may rejoice because we have fallen; but help us to joyfully see you lovingly lifting us up. May our eyes never fail to see our ultimate destiny of victory, in Jesus’ Name, amen.