a devotional

1680

By Nathan Leal

(Note – you can also download this devotional in PDF format for offline viewing. Enjoy

God’s Timing is Always Perfect

The title sounds cool doesn’t it? That’s because it’s true. But unfortunately, at times, it can be a challenge to believe. Have you ever been there my friend?

Have you ever faced a crisis, or were worried about an outcome, and you needed God to show up, but for some reason, it seemed like the answer from Heaven was in, “delay mode”

“Delay mode Nathan?”

Yes, delay mode. It’s the part of the trial where you’re supposed to hold onto your sanity and not freak out while you wait for the rescue. That’s not always easy is it? Especially, when it seems like your ship is sinking!

So what do you do? Well, as a grown-up, you do have a few choices:

1. You can panic, and stress out over it.
2. You can blame God, or your friends and loved ones.
3. You can lash out and pick a fight with an innocent bystander on social media. (This seems to be one of the popular methods that we see on Facebook everyday.)
4. You can behave like the folks who do not know God and self-destruct.
5. …. You can use a combination of the above.

OR, you could try something different, like try to place your trust in God.

Of course, a lot of folks could say, “I am trusting God. But it’s hard, because I do not see an answer in the horizon, so I’m also a little cranky. But I don’t want to be cranky.”

I understand. No one wants to be cranky, but stress will do that. It causes well-meaning people to poke their neighbor, because the answer from heaven is in “delay mode.”

Waiting for Victory

A war is usually never won overnight. Battles take awhile. America’s role in World War II lasted four years. Other wars took even longer, but victory eventually arrived. Why? Well, Winston Churchill told us why …

…”We will never surrender!”

Victory in war requires tenacity and perseverance to believe in something that you cannot see. We can also throw in some old fashioned stubbornness.

And when you think about it, isn’t that what faith is? Faith is trusting that God is going to show up and help you find victory even when it seems unlikely.

So faith is believing in what you can’t see, and having the perseverance (stubbornness) to wait for it, even when you want to give up.

Abraham’s Sacrifice

Abraham knew what that felt like as he walked up the mountain on his way to sacrifice Isaac, his only son. He was trusting in God. The amazing thing is that he did not know how God was going to show up. Nor did he know what the outcome would be.

In fact, he was thinking that he might have to go the distance and plunged the knife into Isaac. But he also had faith and believe that if Isaac had died, God was going to bring him back to life.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called, concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, …”
Hebrews 11:17-19

Wow! That’s faith, my friend. Abraham believed God, and in God’s eyes, it was seen as righteousness.

So Abraham got to the top of the mountain. He bundled up his son, he sharpened his knife, and he was about to plunge it…. oh, the very thought of that is disturbing isn’t it?

But it happened, and hallelujah, at the last minute, God showed up and provided a different way.

Abraham did not see that one coming! But he was happy. Actually, he was more than happy. He was jubilant, ecstatic, and he gave God the glory, because God’s timing is always perfect!

And it was by faith that Abraham found victory in his test.

“By faith,” my friend.

Oh God, Give Us Faith

Many of God’s people are going through difficult challenges right now. Some of you who are reading this, are going through the biggest struggle of your life. It’s been hard. For some of you, it’s very scary. But I want to encourage you with the knowledge that God is watching. He is with you and He wants to see you through.

So here’s something to think about. There’s a chance that one year from now when you look back at the situation that you are presently experiencing, the trial will be over. It will be behind you. And the thing that will also be evident will be how you behaved as you went through it.

– You will be able to look back and see that God was with you, even when it seemed you were alone.

– You also be able to look back and evaluate, whether you applied enough faith and trust in God while you went through it. You’ll be able to see whether you hung in there? Or doubted and complained.

– You will be able to see whether you exhibited the fruit of the Spirit, or operated in panic mode.

Hindsight is 20/20. So I want to challenge the brethren to keep this in mind, because God knows what you are going through. He sees your struggle, your pain, your fears, and your tears. And He wants you to walk through your dark season like a child who looks to Him

If you are a born-again follower of Jesus, He promises us that He will never leave us or forsake us. My friend, when it comes to your life, God has a plan, and His plan includes a certain schedule.

“What does that mean?”

It means that God’s timing is always perfect, and I like how the late R. W. Schambach used to say, “God may not be there when you want him to be, but he’s always on time!”

So be encouraged and I pray that this devotional message encourages you to persevere while you exhibit your faith in God. So please, my friend, don’t give up. Your answer is on the way. To God be the glory!

In His service,
Nathan Leal

A note about the photograph above. – It was taken at Riverside Park in Spokane, Washington. I went there to walk around last Sunday with my wife Donna, and our daughter Hannah. I have been trying to do a lot of walking lately, because after I broke my back, I was idle for several months. My legs and broken arm had atrophied. So the doctor told me that I needed to get out and walk around every day. At first it wasn’t easy. There was a lot of pain. But over time, my back and my legs are becoming stronger.

And on a positive note, I decided to use my walks as an opportunity to take pictures and photograph what I see. This is become an amazing journey of discovery as I use photography to help me exercise. Over the past three months I have take a lot of pictures. So I want to begin to share them with all of you. I am hoping to use them in devotionals or other projects – God willing. So thank you for the time, and please share this with your friends and family. In Christ, Nathan.


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