When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future." Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV)
I got this scripture off of Marybeth Whalen's blog 'But Will It Make Me Happy?' (June 24, 2001 - Prov. 31 ministries)
I had to share it though because this morning at church I came across the scripture in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that states, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I thought about all the sufferings Paul went through, all the experiences in general. Paul stepped out to witness, preach and share the gospel and in the meantime was arrested, beaten, imprisoned, bitten by a poisonous snake and ship wrecked. Time after time things happened in Paul's journey that I am sure were not in his plan. Yet instead of being frustrated, disappointed or mad, he saw it as an opportunity for God to prevail. Paul chose to praise God in the trials and sufferings standing in the faith and truth of who God is and all that He is capable of.
My favorite story concerning Paul is in Acts 28. It states starting in verse 3, "viper...fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, 'this man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.' But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects." ~ He SHOOK IT OFF and suffered NO ILL EFFECTS.... Why are we not shaking it off? I know in my life I have thrown all sorts of little temper tantrums when things did not go the way I expected let alone the times that I simply began to doubt or fear because it did not go the way "I" thought it would go. Sometimes, A LOT OF TIMES, God has a totally different plan than the one we picture. We have a choice to SHAKE OFF the negative and accept what He is doing or get in the way by complaining. I don't know about you, but, I have finally decided that I do not want to get in the way any longer and that no matter how hard it is I am going to do just like Paul and stand in the fact that GOD IS IN CONTROL and this is all happening for a reason, and I am going to work really hard to PRAISE HIM in the process.