Monday, August 23, 2010

Turning Life's Disappointments Into God's Appointments

Hi friends! If you are stopping by today from the Proverbs 31 devotion, then welcome! You picked a great day to visit, because today I am excited to reveal my new blog design!

To celebrate my new look, I will be giving away a special prize package which includes a $10 Starbucks gift card, an audio CD of my session called Empowered By A Whisper, and a $25 gift certificate which can be used towards a future booking to bring me to your churchs next womens event!

If you would like to be in the drawing for this cool prize package, then just sign up to receive my blog posts and quarterly newsletters via email this week! Simply enter your email address in the subscription box on the sidebar, and in the newsletter pop form when you see it in just a second! Check back on Friday to find out if you are the winner.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.......

In todays P31 devotion, I discussed a recent disappointment I experienced, which led to my feeling rejected, depressed, and unworthy. These feelings fueled my desire to throw in the towel and surrender to defeat, instead of trusting Gods will in this situation.

In the midst of that disappointment, negative feelings and emotions were strong, temporarily blinding me to the fact that God could use that disappointment to His glory.... until I came across the passages in Psalm 25 about trusting God and finding hope in Him alone.

I found myself faced with a choice.... I could either allow the devil to use this disappointment to make me stumble in my faith, or I could allow God to use it as a divine appointment to trust Him and glorify Him through it.

When we think of the word "appointment", several things may come to mind - doctors appointments, hair salon appointments, or business meeting appointments, but regardless of the reason, appointments have a purpose. A desired outcome. An expectation.

Whether for something trivial like a haircut, or serious like an MRI scan or a job interview, we typically put the appointment on our calendar and hold ourselves accountable for meeting it. We await the day when the appointment is to take place, we make appropriate plans, we prepare as needed, and we make it a priority.

God longs for us to prioritize our appointments with Him with the same importance. He knows life is busy, and life is hard. In fact, He tells us many times in His Word, that life will be tough, and full of trials and disappointments... but that He is tougher.

As I think back about various difficult and heartbreaking times in my life, I can already see how God has used many of them for good. It has sparked my faith, and allowed me to trust with my whole heart, that He truly can use all things for good eventually.

When I see how God took what the devil meant for evil in my life, and used it for His glory, I can do nothing but praise Him, and get excited about future appointments He may have in store for me.

I have come to understand that sometimes it takes doing an inventory of our past disappointments, even if it brings back some painful memories, to begin seeing the divine appointments God has set for our future, and our faith. What better way to see how far we have come, than by looking at where we started?

In Genesis 50:20 we read about how Josephs eyes are finally opened to Gods plan, as he catches a glimpse of how God orchestrated all the difficult events in his life, for the sole purpose of impacting other peoples hearts for God. That verse says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people."

We are no different than Joseph. A person with troubles, who brought glory to God, simply because He trusted in God to be in charge of the appointments in his life.

Maybe you have had gone through some difficult life experiences, and still struggle with seeing how God could bring good out of it.

Maybe you are still in the midst of a major disappointment or difficulty, or in the aftermath of one, and cannot even fathom how God could use that situation for His glory.

Maybe you realize today, that you have simply never asked God how He could use your disappointments for His glory.

Or maybe you have just never given Him permission to do so.

Regardless of the place we may find ourselves in, it is never too late to set an appointment with God. An appointment to meet with Him each and every day, where we can look forward to hearing His voice, and embracing the opportunity to gain a glimpse of the divine appointments He has in store for us. His appointments have more purpose than any we could set on our own.

If God has used a disappointment in your life, as a divine appointment to impact the hearts of others or increase your faith, will you encourage us with your story? Nothing is more motivating than to see and hear how God is using evil for good in the lives of His children. Lets share life together this week. Smiles.

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Anonymous said...

Good Morning,
Love your new look!!
Your post this morning really spoke to me. So many times I react with my emotions first, then my faith. This is an area in my life that I have been really working on. When we react with our faith first, it is soooo much sweeter.
So many times when I have acted with my emotions first,then later let my faith kick in, I get so mad at myself for not trusting Him.

Anonymous said...

This was excellent Tracie! And so timely! Thank you, again!!! said...

Love this post! As a woman, I need a daily reminder that God is bigger than my feelings. My emotions can be so powerful at times and seem to even steer me down a path far from my Lord. It makes me think of 1 John 3:20 as well in which the NLT pens point blank, "God is bigger than our feelings." Lord help us all not to operate out of our emotions and feelings. Help us to see you first! In Jesus Name, Amen!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracie! Very timely! This is something to I seem to have to work on ALOT, get very tired of feeling like a yo-yo with this area. I have been trying faithfully lately to just give it to God daily. Blessings to you and how you are allowing God to use you!

fahnmamma said...

Thanks for the timely message.

I've been facing a huge disappointment in my life recently. All the feelings you wrote about, I have delt with. What amazes me is the increasing peace I'm experiencing through it all. Why am I amazed?? I know I serve a BIG GOD!!

I'm determined to praise Him in the waiting. I don't know what is next. But I'd like to know really really bad! Oh my, I'll wait....

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.

Blessings to you!

Regina said...

Thanks for today's message. I've had a series of disappointments over the last year, and I praise God for the work He's doing in me through these trials. It's especially hard when it's one of your own children that has let you down, when you've prayed for them thier whole life and they choose to walk away from the Lord. But I remember that God's word does return void. So I'm choosing to look to the Word for strength during this time and not be overwhelmed by my feelings! And have faith that my son will return to His first love.

Carrie Turansky said...

Thanks, Tracie, for these wise words. I know you wanted your blog post to be general enough that we could apply it to our situation, but I was wondering if you were writing about a rejection from a publisher for a book proposal. I'm an author, and I received many rejections before I finally received an acceptance. Even though I've had seven books accepted, I still receive rejections for some of my ideas. Rejection is hard! But I love those verses, and I appreciate the way you helped us apply them to challenging situations. Keep on sharing from your heart!


Digging for Pearls said...

Thanks for this today Tracie. I had an incredibly depressing week last week when I felt overwhelmed by a decision my son has made. I just couldn't get past it until yesterday. I had to make an active choice to go beyond the circumstance, to remind myself of what God has called me to do. Not an easy step to take, but I have.

Jodie Wolfe

KELLY W said...

In May 2009, my husband lost his job during (as we all know) a terrible economy with no one hiring! It has been a life changing experience for both of us. We had no clue how lucky we were or how good we had it in life! Through it all, God has changed our lives to make us closer than ever before. We have stood by each other, supported one another in decision making, and now we are praying together every night! It is something I always prayed for and He answered my prayers. Tough, yes it has been tough, but worth every tear since it has brought us both closer to Jesus.

Anita - Soaring Eagle said...

My work has been so disappointing to me lately. I have a new boss and he is "watching me like a hawk" - I am even having to write down what I do in 2 hour increments. I have been here 8 years and I feel so "pressured" that I cannot make a mistake - and of course then I make a mistake. So, this really came to me today - thank you for posting it! I have prayed but now I can be more specific! My emotions have gotten in my way so much lately...

Pam said...

"...turning those disappointments into God appointments to trust Him." Love that! Great devotion for today.

Anonymous said...

"Turning Life's disappointments into God's appointments" was very inspirational to me. I find that sometimes the things we want are not what God has planned for us. I greatly appreciate the daily word.

Wander said...

I love your new blog look too! Looks great!

I've been stuck in the molasses of a disappointment time for 2 years. My family just lives confused and unsettled. My husband left a very toxic pastoral position at a church (in the same town we still live).
Nothing seems to be happening for us. We are not currently serving in ministry and we don't even attend a church!
It's been devastating and I don't understand WHY it's happening to us.
I have prayed....and prayed for direction. We have a college son and 2 high school daughters. They are willing to go wherever God calls....but will He?
Our lives feel so strange and foreign.
I know....I believe....He knows and sees everything I'm going through. So, your post rings very close to my heart!

LO said...

Thank you Tracie, your ending prayer took the words out of my mouth, "Dear Lord, You know the hurt in my heart and the sting of disappointments I have experienced. Please help me trust You, instead of being consumed by feelings. Empower me with a faith that is stronger than my emotions."

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for almost a year. Each month we relive the same disappointment and pain as God tells us lovingly, "No, it's not time yet."

I find myself asking the same questions, "Why didn't God answer my prayers? Why had He placed a dream in my heart only to allow it to crumble?" And then I read what you wrote next, "All I could think about was how this disappointment made me feel, instead of what God may be doing that my faith could not see."

I will bury this treasure in my heart, and today I will choose to trust God over my emotions. Thank you for your encouragement through this journey.

Anonymous said...

I became so disappointed recently and honestly angry at God that I became suicidal. While things are getting better, I still struggle some days. I am going to keep your devotion today as I reminder to me in those difficult moments. Thanks for sharing!