2 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV)
15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
Are you kidding me? How could this happen? How could God allow such a thing? Those are the kind of things we think when we face a setback. It seems like a setback in our eyes because we cannot see the master plan. When one door closes, look around, because another door is opening. Do you see it?
Paul is telling Timothy the story of the challenges he is facing in Asia in his attempts to spread the Gospel. People have turned away from his message but he remains in faith because he “…knows in whom he has believed…..” He goes on to encourage Timothy to remain faithful to the Gospel even though it seems people will not accept it at the current time. His encouragement is also to us.
It is curious to me that the best thing in the world (everlasting life) offered at the best value in the world (free) would have to be “sold”! When offered freedom from sin and life everlasting in the presence of the Lord, people balked. They did not believe. Paul hit a roadblock. How was he able to remain faithful? Because he realized this was not the time or place for the message. God had another plan. God sent Paul to preach to the Gentiles in order to make His chosen people jealous so they would want the Good News. He has a plan.
How about your life? Is there something you keep trying without success? Pastor Don describes this phenomenon as beating your head against a wall. No matter how you try, you are just not making progress and it hurts. You are going against God’s plan. When it is that difficult, it means He is wanting you to do it differently or maybe somewhere else. God did not want Paul to go into Asia at that time so He closed that door. Paul went on to other places and was met with great success. He is the greatest missionary the world has ever known. What does God want from you? When one door closes, will you give up or will you look for the open door through which God wants you to walk today? He has a great plan for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) says 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Keep your eyes and ears and heart open for the will of the Lord for your life and you will never be disappointed!
Thank You Lord that You have a plan for our good. Lead us in Your ways that we might accomplish the work You set out for us. Take us to the places You ordain. Introduce us to those You would have us meet. Give us the words to speak that would draw them to You through us. In Your name we pray!