A J-BAR PRAYER
Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.
Listen to this week’s devotional on The J Bar Experience Podcast!
Acts 16:6-8: “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.”
So the Apostle Paul was a man acquainted with a lot of disappointment. Just prior to what I read to you, Paul experienced a little issue with a longtime friend and servant of the Lord, Barnabus. They had a little bit of a disagreement about what direction they should go and who they should take with them.
Barnabus wanted to take a man named John Mark along for the journey. But Paul didn’t agree with that because John Mark had already once gone with them and quit – he gave up in the middle of the journey and went back. So Paul was facing some disappointment, and now he comes to this place and he wants to go into Asia, specifically into Bithynia to preach, but the spirit of God wouldn’t allow it, and would not give him permission, to do that.
So once again, Paul is experiencing some disappointment. Wanting to do something that he’s not able to do – wanting to be with people and have people in his life that he’s not able to have in his life.
And I could go on and on about all the disappointments that Paul experienced. Everywhere Paul went they were trying to kill him. No matter where he was or what he was doing, there was always somebody looking to take him out. He talks about all of the times that he suffered from shipwreck, and hunger, and being stoned and left for dead. Lots of disappointment.
In our lives, we too have times of disappointment. Times when we want to accomplish something and it doesn’t matter how bad we want to accomplish it, we can’t get it done for whatever reason. Or people we want to share life with, to do life with, and we are not able to have those people in our life for whatever reason. And then again our own experiences, because of the world in which we live, and the difficulties of what we call “life” – life is filled with disappointments. And if you focus on the disappointments, you will continually be disappointed. You’ll continually be discouraged and disheartened because of all the issues that we face.
But I want to bring something to your mind that maybe will help you during those disappointing times.
If you read through the rest of the Acts chapter 16, you’ll find that because of Paul’s disappointments, because he wasn’t able to go where he wanted to go and be with the people he wanted to be with, he was actually in the exact place where he was supposed to be. In Chapter 16, Paul meets a young man by the name of Timothy who he takes under his wing, and he begins to train him in the Ministry. He becomes a great friend and an asset in the service of the Lord.
Because of Paul’s disappointments, he is in the right place when a woman by the name of Lydia comes and she hears the word of God and she trusts Christ, and all of her family comes and trusts Christ.
Because of Paul’s disappointments he was there to deliver a young girl from being demon possessed.
And another disappointment – after being thrown in prison, at midnight they sang and worshiped and praised God, preached the word, and a jailer and all his family got saved.
And so because of Paul’s disappointments, he was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, and he was doing exactly what he was supposed to do.
The reason that’s encouraging to me is when I face disappointment, if I will understand that my disappointments may actually be divine appointments, where I am where I’m supposed to be, when I’m supposed to be, doing what God wants me to do, then I can be encouraged knowing that the circumstances that are coming to me – though I didn’t want them – are exactly what i needed.
The place that I didn’t want to be,in which I find myself, is exactly where I need to be, to be with the people that God wants in my life. If we shift our mindset to see that rather than disappointments, we are faced every day with divine appointments. If we begin to look for those opportunities that are being placed right in front of us, to encourage someone to be a blessing, to handle a circumstance that comes to us in a way that maybe nobody else could, then maybe we could truly find peace in the disappointments.
We can find joy in the disappointments, knowing that those divine appointments are exactly what we need.