WHAT IF GOD DEALS US A BAD HAND

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WHAT IF GOD DEALS US A BAD HAND

Not too long ago, we looked at what happens when God gives too little for us to overcome the challenges that we face. In that message, we saw how David went to fight Goliath the giant with only a stone and sling; and we saw how God whittled down Gideon’s army from twenty-two companies to 300 and sent him off to fight an army that was “as numerous as locusts”. (Judges 7:12)

In those instances, we know what the outcomes were. David slew Goliath and Gideon won a resounding victory. Even the walls of Jericho fell after Joshua and his army merely walked around them for a week. Indeed, God does multiply the seemingly modest supply that He gives to achieve a supernaturally large outcome.

But what happens when God seems to give us things that will harm us? How should we respond? Well, let’s take a look.

The birth of Christ is filled with miracles and divine intervention, and none more so than the very conception of Jesus. Hindsight is 20/20, but have you ever wondered how Mary felt about her role in the miracle?

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”” Luke 1:26-28

Really? Are you kidding me? Give me a million dollars, I don’t mind. But give me a child when I am nearly about to be wed? Seriously? Do you want me stoned?

Ladies, think about this from an earthly point of view. Forget the bit about this being from the Bible and ignore the fact that everything turns out great in the end. Think about this as if it were happening to you, right here, right now. Is this really a blessing? Would you consider yourself the ‘highly favored one’ and ‘blessed among women’? Wouldn’t you be worried about how you are going to explain it to your husband, your parents and his parents? ‘An angel made it happen’ just isn’t going to be good enough, is it?

It is little wonder then that Mary “was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.” Luke 1:29

In fact, the Amplified tells us that “she was greatly troubled and disturbed and confused at what he said and kept revolving in her mind what such a greeting might mean.” Luke 1:29 [AMPC]

I think ‘reeling in shock’ would be a better description of how she was feeling. I don’t think joy remotely crept into her being at that time. I mean think about it, chastity is a virtue that many hold dear even now, much less back in those days. And for her to be with child; and just before her wedding no less; ‘Trouble’ with a capital ‘T’ was certainly on the cards. What was her husband going to think?

And it isn’t far wrong of us to assume that she would be having those concerns either, because when Joseph found out, he “her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.” Matthew 1:19

Mary was about to be divorced even before she got married. So how can this possibly be a good thing for her? How can she be highly favored and blessed amongst women?

Now, let us pretend like we don’t know the rest of the story and analyze this situation as if it was happening to us right now.

God had a mission for Mary to accomplish. She was going to be the mother of His Son. Never mind who Jesus was going to be; how can God let His Son be born into disrepute? Surely God must intervene in some way.

Also, from Jeremiah we remember that “God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction [for what He has promised]. Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19 [AMP]

So if the angel He sent called Mary ‘blessed among women’ and considers her the ‘highly favored one’, she must be so. Even though the circumstances don’t remotely show how this can be possible, logic tells us that it must be so. So did God follow through?

“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”” Matthew 1:20-21

“Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife” Matthew 1:24

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Isn’t it amazing how simple the solution was? All that worrying about how she was going to break the news to her parents and to Joseph; all that was really for naught, was it not? All the ‘how’s and ‘when’s and ‘what if’s were really unnecessary because in the end, God came through for her, didn’t He?

So, are you Tom Cruise and facing your own Mission Impossible? Has God given you something which you cannot, for the life of you, see how it can ever be helpful to you? Has God sent you something seemingly harmful and called you ‘blessed among women’ and ‘highly favored’? Has God lost His mind?

Well, beloved, you are highly favored. Whether or not you have been given your own Mission Impossible, you are highly favored. Simply because,

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

No matter what your situation may suggest to you, the day you put your trust in Jesus, received Him into your life, you have become the beloved child of God;

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

And that is why when Jesus rose from the dead, He told Mary when she saw Him at the grave,

“Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” John 20:17

And that is why Jesus tells us that

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

So if you have been given a challenge, God cannot and will not let you fail. You are His child and failure would be beyond just being a mere embarrassment. Even though the signs seem to suggest that God has dealt you a bad hand, remember how Mary’s situation turned out.

And when you remember how Mary’s situation turned out, then you will remember how easy the solution became when God took over. Just one angel, to one man, with one instruction, and it was all sorted.

““For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For 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

We don’t need to know how to turn things around. We just need to have faith that He will. Because not turning things around for us is unthinkable for Him. For do you not know by what means is God glorified?

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit;...” John 15:8

Yes, the situation looks bleak. Yes, it does look like you have been dealt a bad hand. But remember, God doesn’t gamble, He only wins. So in the face of our troubles let us instead adopt the response that Mary did and say to Him,

“Let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

And let Him show us how easy solving all our problems really is.

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