Have you ever experienced life's negative turns? I have!
Several years ago I went to pick up a young boy at school who was from a single parent home. His mom had asked if I would talk to him about some things going on in his life. I thought I knew where the school was located, but on the way I realized that I was heading to the wrong school. This was the day before cell phones so I stopped at a grocery store to use, what we called back in the day, a phone booth. As I got out of the car to use the phone I turned back and noticed my car was not there anymore. I looked to my right. I looked to my left. Sure enough, I saw my car rolling down the parking lot toward another store in the shopping center. True story! It was heading for the front window of an Allstate Insurance Company. I could see the employees in the building running for dear life. Fortunately my car did not go through the front window, but hit a pole and stopped.
That is what I call a negative turn in life. Of course it was my fault, but some times the negative turns in our life occur without our assistance.
My question is how do you and I respond to the negative turns in life?
When life takes a negative turn that's when we really find out what we believe about God?.
I am in this vein of reading the Bible and seeing a common thread. This thread runs consistently through the entire Bible and plays a vital role in whether we experience victory or defeat over the negative turns.
ADAM & EVE: Adam and Eve disobeyed God, but their view of God caused them to hide from God instead of run to God.
THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL: When they experienced negative turns like the lack of water and the lack of food, what was their view of God? They said, "Why have you brought us out into the wilderness to kill us?"
THE 10 SPIES: They were all excited to be going into the Promise Land until life took a negative turn. There were giants in the land. What they said reveals their view of God. Listen, "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die by the sword."
THE WIDOW WOMAN: Remember her? She was about to run out of flour and oil. She had enough to make one more meal and then she and her son would die. Elijah tells her to prepare him a meal first. She did and because of her obedience the barrel of flour and oil did not run out during the famine for three years. Did you get that? Three years! But then life took a negative turn. Her sone died. Even after experiencing the supernatural provision of God for three years she STILL did not know who God was. What was her view of God? She believed that God was punishing her for something she had previously done.
GIDEON: Life took a negative turn for the Israelites. They would plant crops and when it came time to harvest the crops their enemies would come in and take away their harvest. Gideon's view of God was, "Why have you abandoned us?"
Has your life taken a negative turn? What is your view of God?
When Moses asked God to show him His glory God said, "I am full of mercy. I am full of grace. I am long-suffering.”
When Jonah finally went to Nineveh like God directed him, 120,000 people turned to God. Jonah was mad with God. He said, “I knew you would change your mind because you are full of mercy, full of grace and long-suffering.”
My encouragement is when life takes a negative turn ask God to reveal Himself to you.
Hebrews 12:1 says, "Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin which so easily entangles us. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us.”
I think one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is how we view God when life takes a negative turn.
Life took a negative turn when Goliath came out 80 times to challenge the Israelites. But listen to what David said; "I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied."
UNTIL WE GET THIS ONE ISSUE SETTLED IN OUR HEARTS WE WILL HAVE DIFFICULTY DEFEATING THE GOLIATHS IN OUR LIFE!
I end with the words to a children's song. Allow these words to settle in your hearts and minds!
My God is SO BIG! SO strong and SO mighty! There's nothing my God will not do for YOU!