Setbacks Can Serve Us

How do you view setbacks or bad news? A friend let me know that the project we were working on just received some disappointing news. An inspector recommended that the building we had hoped to remodel for some ministry offices needed to be condemned.

Postponed hope can make you feel heart sick, but truth is our friend. To have made the visual aspects beautiful with the hidden parts being unstable and dangerous would have been disastrous. Wishing it were different is wasted energy. Praying for new direction while acknowledging our disappointment is realistic.

When receiving disappointing news we must be careful to ferret out the whole truth. Because this building isn’t safe doesn’t mean our dream is dashed. We both believe that God has a better option that hasn’t been revealed yet. Setbacks help us understand the earnestness of our desires. In other words “How much do I want this.” If a disappointment ends the vision, then the answer is “not much.” If, however, our desires intensify, we know we are to push forward.

Climbing to reach any worthwhile goal always includes hurdles. Handling the setbacks develops our character and clarifies our desires. Sometimes our desires change in the process. That too is helpful. We make the necessary adjustments and continue our climb to the new goal. That is much better than doggedly chasing something that no longer captures our hearts.

The Apostle Paul was blocked from preaching the gospel to some regions. That did not stop Paul from continuing his missionary journeys. God used this to redirect him to new areas.

It is important to keep the right perspective. What shall we say in response to this? If God is for us who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31b-32). Don’t allow setbacks to defeat you. Use them as opportunities to grow in faith and character and clarify your calling and desires.



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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™   Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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1 Comment

  1. Marilyn Couch

    Debbie, thank-you for reminding me of God’s eternal perspective,
    which brings eternal hope and encouragement to my own heart.

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