Summary: Making the Most of the Good and the Bad - Rom. 8:28,29
Making the Most of the Good & the Bad – Rom. 8:28
The year was 1920. The scene was the examining board for selecting missionaries. Standing before the board was a young man named Oswald Smith. One dream dominated his heart. He wanted to be a missionary. Over and over again, he prayed, "Lord, I want to go as a missionary for you. Open a door of service for me." Now, at last, his prayer would be answered. When the examination was over, the board turned Oswald Smith down. He did not meet their qualifications. He failed the test. Oswald Smith had set his direction, but now life gave him a detour. What would he do? As Oswald Smith prayed, God planted another idea in his heart. If he could not go as a missionary, he would build a church which could send out missionaries. And that is what he did. Oswald Smith pastored The People’s Church in Toronto, Canada, which sent out more missionaries than any other church at that time. Oswald Smith brought God into the situation, and God transformed his detour into a main thoroughfare of service.
Brian L. Harbour, Rising Above the Crowd.
STATISTICS AND STUFF
Detours, when we get off the main road, can be frustrating and time consuming. Yet in the spiritual life, God seems to allow us to be detoured. One of the longest detours of all time happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness. What should have taken them eleven days to enter the Promised Land turned into a forty-year detour in the desert. That detour was due to their deplorable lack of faith in God’s conquering power. On the other hand, there were those who may have thought they were being detoured by God, but who later found they were on God’s perfect road of blessing all along. Consider: 1) Moses was detoured into submission. Those forty years in the wilderness tending sheep were not a waste, but actually a training ground for tending Israel later on. The desert experience took all the trust in the arm of flesh out of Moses (Exodus 3,4). 2) Paul was detoured into learning. "I went into Arabia...then after three years I went up to Jerusalem" (Galatians 1:17,18). Those years were good for Paul, so that he might learn of Christ and be trained for service. 3) Philip was detoured from many, to one. He went from winning multitudes, to winning one man, the Etheopian eunuch; from a great revival to a singular witnessing experience. This story shows the Lord’s estimation of the value of one soul. 4) Enoch and Elijah were detoured into heaven (Genesis 5:24, II Kings 2:11). Is today the day we will experience the same?
The Daily Bread.
"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor."
Illustration:W. H. Griffith on p. 467 on his outlines in Acts gives this great illustration:
"An elderly Christian woman, very poor but noted for her constant activity, was laid aside by illness and her neighbors asked her how she could bear it? She answered, "When I was well, the Lord, said, "Betty, go here and Betty go there, but now He says, "Betty, lie still and cough! She had learned the lesson of life in relation to the will of God; and something like this must have been Paul’s experience as he was cut off (and unjustly so) from his desired activities for the gospel." Still, Paul wrote, "God works all things together for good for those who love God and to those who are called according to His purposes." (Rom. 8:28,29)