Devotion: God is preparing you for victory
I walked alone down the long, quiet, empty hallway, with a heart heavier than the overstuffed backpack I was carrying. The silence was broken only by the heartbreaking words replaying in my head from a friend turned enemy.
“I’m sick of seeing you around all the time!” she snarled with contempt before ordering me out of her dorm room. Before that moment, I assumed the time we spent hanging out, laughing and chatting between classes was mutually enjoyable.
“I need my space! Go find something else to do,” she demanded, before reiterating, “I don’t want to see you here again.”
Not knowing how to react, I sprang up, grabbed my belongings, expressed my surprise and regret, and quickly scrambled out. Feeling a mixture of embarrassment and sadness, during my walk of shame, I wondered, did I overlook obvious clues or ignore subtle cues that told me I was an unwanted nuisance?
Maybe I had; maybe I hadn’t. Either way, I figured I’d never know the answer.
Weeks turned into months before, shockingly, my banisher turned up at an event where I was speaking. This time, she approached me and said, “I should never have said those things to you. I was going through a lot.”
With tear-filled eyes and a quivering voice, she added, “You’re the kind of person I want and need to be around. Please forgive me. I never meant to hurt you.”
I sensed her sincerity and deeply appreciated it, as I replied, “Don’t worry about it. I accept your apology. Actually, that moment was good for me. It was a wakeup call. I needed to spend more time alone.”
I assured her that she had long been forgiven, after which, she implored me to reenter her life with more passion than she had commanded me to exit it. But, by that time, life had changed a lot and so had I. God had launched me into ministry and my calendar was full of appointments to share the Gospel with local ministries. Such a great responsibility shifted my priorities and limited my free time. I was in a different headspace and heart space.
Though it was good for us to briefly reunite for closure’s sake and confirm that there were no hard feelings on either side, we never crossed paths again. All these years later, I remain grateful for that experience. I know now that the separation had to happen, because God was preparing me for something greater. As painful as it was, it was good for me.
We see a moment that begins painfully, but ends triumphantly in the life of Jehoash, the 12th king of Israel, in 2 Kings 13:14-25. He went to visit Elisha, who was about to die, and Jehoash was distraught about the impending loss. The brokenhearted king wept in agony, calling Elisha, “My father! My father!”
It is a heart-wrenching scene, but God still used Elisha, even on his deathbed, to prepare King Jehoash for victory. According to verse 7, under the previous Israelite regime, because of the oppressive hand of the king of Aram, Israel’s arch rival, their army had nearly dwindled down to nothing. It was a tumultuous time and the worst possible moment for Elisha, the spiritual compass of Jehoash and the nation of Israel, to die.
But in the midst of it all, God sent a word through an infirmed and feeble Elisha. He told Jehoash to get a bow and arrow, aim it out of the east window and shoot. When Jehoash obeyed, in verse 17, Elisha shouted, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram! You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”
What a word! The same Aram who had decimated Israel was about to experience defeat at their hands. Though Elisha died and was buried, the word of the Lord, which lives on forever, came to pass. Israel was indeed victorious, just as God had spoken.
Friend, God is preparing you for victory also! You might be going through hardship, struggle and pain today, but He is sending this word to tell you, there’s about to be a turn of events in your life. This is not the end. It isn’t over. It may seem like the worst that could possibly happen is on the horizon, but really, your best days are ahead of you. Out of pain, He is bring purpose.
God is working things out and moving on your behalf. His hand of deliverance is outstretched. Though the enemy has come at you full-force and adversity is all around you, never forget that you are surrounded by His favor. His power has already secured your victory. Get your spiritual bow and arrow, and aim it. Now begin rejoicing, because God has already caused you to overcome. Satan’s war plan won’t work against you, but the weapon in your hand will work against him.
The weapon is the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God!
To remind you that the Lord has made you victorious, I’m stirring Psalm 118:16 GNT into your cup of inspiration, which says, “His power has brought us victory—his mighty power in battle!”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, praise Him that this trial is turning into triumph. Your time of favor is upon you. Those tears of sorrow are becoming rivers of joy.
All this time, God has been preparing you to experience new victories and receive fresh favor!
Now let’s pray.
God, thank You for assuring me that, even though things don’t look good, Your power is at work in my life, and victory belongs to me. Today, despite the way it seems, by faith, I am preparing for my victorious outcome. It is so. In Jesus’ name, Amen.