INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Folks, as the New Year comes upon us, we are reminded that we are embarking on a new part of our life’s journey that is filled with many unknowns. These unknown events can challenge a Christian’s faith to its very core. This is the reason that I felt it was important to take a few devotional lessons and address keys to “Entering The Unknown By Faith”.
In this six part devotional series, we will be looking at Isaiah 42:16. This is a wonderful text to use in this devotional series. In this series, we will learn about how to handle unforeseen, challenging life events based upon our trust in the Lord and His enabling graces.
Lord willing, by His grace alone, we will be uncovering the wisdom found in God’s Word that will help us to handle all the “unknowns” that this New Year will hold for us.
Our devotionals will be looking at:
1. Dec 26th – Our Uncertain Future…. Faith Is The Key!
2. Dec 27th – Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds
3. Dec 28th – Our Future Holds Events We Have Never Experienced
4. Dec 29th – Our Future Is Revealed To Us One Event At A Time… In The Lord’s Time
5. Dec 30th – Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Straightens Them Out
6. Dec 31st – Our Lord Will Care For Us Every Passing Day
May the Lord bless our study!
Isa 42:16 KJV
Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds…
Isa 42:16a KJV – “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not…”
This part of our text gives us a two-fold promise from the Lord…
Promise #1 – “The Blind By A Way That They Knew Not”… There will be times when we will face paths that are unfamiliar to us:
Folks, due to our humanity, we are blinded to life’s unfamiliar, stressful, circumstances that await us. Although we cannot foresee them, they should not surprise us when they occur, for they are a part of living in this fallen world.
These unexpected life events cause anxiety and tensions within us. These worrisome times are trials upon any Christian’s faith. However, although they are some of the most difficult times in our lives, they can also be some of the most profitable as well.
The Apostles Peter and James explain to us that, when we face trying times in our lives, they are blessings in disguise, producing spiritual growth, fruit bearing, and reaping eternal rewards for us…
Jas 1:2-4 KJV – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
1Pe 1:6-7 KJV – “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
These are the hidden purposes behind the many stressful times that enter every Christian’s life.
Promise #2 – “I will bring” … The Lord will be the One that will bring us to these unfamiliar paths in our lives.
Bringing us into ways we do not know is an act of God’s grace and an act of His hand of blessing in our lives.
Is there anyone among us that desires a closer walk with the Lord? From our previous experiences, we know that it is during the unexpected, trying times in our lives that we are brought to a closer relationship with the Lord. It is during these same times that we learn to more diligently seek His will as revealed in His Word, and turn ourselves over to a more complete reliance upon Him…
Psa 119:67-68 KJV – “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.”
Our Lord loves us so much He allows unforeseen trials to enter our lives to bring (or keep) us closer to Him and grow in strength and knowledge. He does it to be of long-term benefit to His people. This is why our Lord actually leads us into these unexpected times of our lives… He is working for our good and His glory.
Just a personal note… Over the years of my lifetime, I have learned that, in some cases, the ending of a trial in my life does not necessarily mean that “better times are ahead”. On the contrary, sometimes the end of one trial was the prerequisite to a greater trial that would swiftly come my way.
Although, at the time, facing a consistent stream of trials seemed to be overwhelming and even unfair; I now realize that many times the Lord bought the earlier trials in my life to prepare me for the greater trial that was to come. Without these preliminary smaller trials, I would not have been spiritually strong enough to handle the greater trial that I was destined to face.
Please always keep this in mind…. As we pass through each surprising difficulty in life one of two principles is at play. Either, it is the Lord wanting to bring us closer to Him so we can live a more useful, blessed, peaceful life in the near future; or else, He is graciously equipping us for a greater trial that is yet to come, that otherwise would be far too great for us to bear.
In either case, the Lord leading us into this time of unpredictable hardship is an act of His grace, working in our lives what is for our good and securing for us eternal rewards as we faithfully walk through our life’s trials with Him.
May we all look ahead to the unknown events of this New Year without fear. Instead let’s look ahead with joy, confidence and faith knowing our Lord will be with us and enabling and caring for us every step of the way as He brings us closer to Him and enables us to handle any hardship that may come our way.