Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hope in Spite of Lost Opportunities

Sometimes we take a hard look at our lives and it makes us sad. We think about lost opportunities. We think about what could have been, what should have been. We know there are way too many wasted moments, hours, days, weeks, months, even years.

If we are not careful, we can lose hope. We can be discouraged, depressed, and defeated because of our previous poor choices.

What have you lost that you wish you could regain? Maybe it’s your financial security. Or your time with your kids. Maybe you wish you could get back your educational opportunities. Or a career opportunity. What have you lost that you wish you could regain?

I was talking to a friend this week about his lifestyle in the construction business. He said that in the trades, the topic of conversation often revolves around this: “What watering hole are we going to today after work?” My friend said that through this Outpour series in Joel, God has his attention. He’s wondering, “How much time and how much money have I wasted sitting for hours and hours in some bar drinking cold ones after work? I could have spent that time with my family. I could have spent that time bettering my life. I could have spent that time helping somebody else.” Drinking the cold ones is not really the problem. He has real regrets about wasted time and money.

What have you lost that you wish you could regain?

In His time and in His way, the Lord makes things better than ever.

In the OT book of Joel we see that God’s people have been rebellious. The Lord was not OK with that because He wants a connection, a closeness with His people. So, He sent “the day of the Lord.”

The day of the Lord in Joel is mainly a day of discipline and judgment. God sent a locust invasion. God took away their grain, their grapes, their olives. He wanted to get their attention. God corrected them to connect them to Him. God said, "Repent. Tear up your heart. Alter your course.”

God says, “If you alter your course, you can experience My favor and blessing. But if you choose to stay on your own course, you’re going to run aground and get smashed on the rocks.”

So, the people repent. They see that God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. And what does God do?

It’s good news, even great news. God restores. It’s a very specific restoration. It’s a restoration of what God took as a result of His disciplining His people.

If He did it for them. He can do it for you.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Wow! I love this! It's so true and parallel to what I've been learning lately. I know the mistakes and the world's "easy" path I've taken too many times. However what an incredible gracious God I serve that I can trust He will always perfect my imperfect ways, resulting in His continuous perfectly paved path though my contributions alone would have surely led to a broken road! Hope in Him is a beautiful thing!

Share it