Setbacks can be your friend!

Setbacks and discouragements can also be your friend! The bible says,

“All things work together for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose”.

There is a beautiful story about a little boy in the bible who faced a great setback.

He was an Egyptian and a slave of an amalekite. One day the Amalekites raided a wealthy warriors village and plundered the whole village and set it on fire. On their way back, the little boy got sick and so the master decided to abandon the boy to die. This must have been a painful blow to that little boy. But it so happened that the little boy bumped into that same wealthy warrior and gave an important lead to him about the whereabouts of the Amalekites and helped that warrior to fight and recover everything back. The little boy who was abandoned to die by the Amalekite master became a useful resource for the warrior. The warrior was none other but David and this story is recorded in 1 Sam 30.

David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?” He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?” He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.” He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives.

This is how God will use our setbacks and discouragements. You think your master has abandoned you but the truth is you are serving a wrong master. The real master wants to use you. The setbacks you are facing are going to take you closer to the real master. You are wanted to be part of a God’s great project! You need to look at the big picture.  The little boy played a crucial role in helping David to recover his wives, children and wealth so that David can continue to fulfil his calling and become a king.

Also the little boy was never mentioned again in the bible. He played a small and crucial role. Your role might be a small role but it could be an important role in God’s big picture.

Apostle Paul faced a lot of setbacks in his life. One such setback was in Corinth and the bible says

When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized. One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

Paul started his ministry with Jews but it didn’t go well. It was not productive. He kept on facing oppositions. So, does that mean Paul was inefficient or he lacked skill to do this work? So does that mean Paul should give up his ministry and do some other day job? The answer is a resounding “no”! Setbacks doesn’t mean you need to give up. It could mean you need to change the direction. And that’s what Paul did. He decided to go and preach to the gentiles. Didn’t Paul make an impact in his ministry later? And look at what God said to him, Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.” God doesn’t want you to stop what you are doing for him just because you faced a setback. God doesn’t want you to become silent. God wants you to move forward. He is with you and you are part of his big picture. You have an important role to do. God uses your setbacks to manoeuvre you to be part of his big picture. Because as the scripture says ALL THINGS, even your setbacks, will work together for good because you  have been called according HIS PURPOSE which is the big picture.“

So you might have faced setbacks and discouragements recently but let it not stop you. Let it not slow you down. You need to keep doing what you have been doing for the Lord. It’s not about the outcome but its all about being faithful and keeping your eyes on the big picture. What you think as failure could be a turning point in your life and in God’s big picture just like Paul’s failure with Jews became a turning point in the history of the mankind!

If you are encouraged by what you read today, would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?

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