Have you ever noticed that God does not always do things on your timetable or in ways that are convenient to you? Paul told Timothy that as a servant of God and a minister of the gospel Timothy had to fulfill his duties whether doing so was convenient or inconvenient (see 2 Tim. 4:2).
I doubt Timothy was nearly as addicted to convenience as we are today, yet Paul thought it was important to remind him to be prepared to be inconvenienced or interrupted by God.
If Timothy needed to hear that, then I’m sure we also need to hear it frequently because we’re probably more attached to convenience than Timothy was. All I have to do to recognize how much I value convenience is listen to myself complain when even the smallest device I have doesn’t work properly—the dishwasher, air conditioner, hair dryer, clothes dryer, washing machine, microwave.
Have you ever wondered, If God wants us to help people, why doesn’t He make it easy and cost effective? Let me answer that question with another question: Did Jesus sacrifice anything to purchase our freedom from sin and bondage?
I wonder why God didn’t make the plan of salvation easier. After all, He could have devised any plan He wanted to and simply said, “This is going to work.”
It seems that in God’s economy nothing cheap is worth having. King David said he would not give God something that cost him nothing (see 2 Sam. 24:24). I have learned that true giving is not giving until I can feel it.
Giving away the clothes and household items I’m finished with may be a nice gesture, but it doesn’t equate to real giving. Real giving occurs when I give somebody something that I want to keep.
I’m sure you’ve had those testing times when God asks you to give away something you like. He gave His only Son because He loves us, so what will love cause us to do? Give. Can we at least be inconvenienced or uncomfortable occasionally in order to help someone in need?
I recently saw a TV story about a young couple very much in love and soon to be married. Tragically, she was in a car accident and fell into a coma for months afterward.
The man she was to marry sat by her side until she woke up. She was left with brain damage and would be crippled and unable to do many things for herself.
However, the young man did not even consider canceling the wedding. She went down the aisle in a wheelchair and was not able to speak clearly due to her injuries. But she was obviously extremely joyful.
The young man cared for her, and they enjoyed life together. With his help she was able to accomplish amazing things.
It would have been so easy, even understandable to most of us, if the young man had simply walked away. After all, staying with her meant he would be inconvenienced and need to sacrifice daily. However, he stayed and in all probability experienced more joy in life than most of us do.
I suspect God wants you and me to do more than read these type of stories. Maybe He wants you to have your own story.
God will interrupt one person and ask him or her to do something inconvenient to make life more convenient for another person. We must understand God’s ways or we will resist what we should embrace. The simple truth is this: We must give to be happy, and giving is not true giving if we don’t feel the sacrifice of it.
Decide today that you don’t mind inconvenience or interruption. Let God use you. In His hands, you can make a difference.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 80 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Love Revolution (Hachette). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, log on at charismamag.com/meyer.
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