Does getting a “positive” opportunity in your life automatically represent God’s will?  I’ve heard believers say things like “this door has opened for a new job and I know it is God because it is such a great opportunity.”  Is that ALWAYS true?  Could God’s will be for you to go to prison as an innocent man?

Sometimes I’m convinced that God does lead His children to opportunities where they will prosper financially or to opportunities where their gifts will be used in a greater way.  Other times when I’ve heard people give God credit for an opportunity that seems good, I’m not sure He was leading in that direction.

A positive situation is not evidence in itself of the leading of God.  At the same time, a “negative” situation is not evidence of someone “missing” God’s leading.

God has given those who love Him a peace that passes understanding and a joy in their life.  Having said that, I believe that the Bible teaches that God is more concerned about our devotion to Him than He is our “happiness.”  He is more concerned about us leading someone to faith in Him than He is about us getting a raise and being able to provide a few luxuries for our family like cable tv.

Understand that happiness and joy are two different things.  Happiness is temporary and dependent upon our circumstances.  Joy comes from God and is put inside us at a deeper level.  The Apostle Paul learned to be “content” in whatever his circumstances, as he said in Philippians 4.  He wrote his words while in prison, by the way.

The fact that the Apostle Paul was in prison doesn’t mean that he was out of God’s will.  He could have easily been a leader in the Jewish community if he had just toned down the “Jesus” rhetoric a bit.  I’m sure people then could have seen his leadership as proof that God had opened doors for him.  Could it have been that God had “opened the doors” of the prison for him?

Was prison where God had wanted him at that time?  His time in prison certainly gave him the opportunity to spread the gospel to the guards and to Rome.  He may not have had that opportunity if he had not been forced to prison.

The Lord has provided wealth for some so that they can use it to build the Kingdom.  Financial margin is a blessing to be able to help those in need or to lead others to Him and not only to be used to live a life of luxury.  God may lead you to buy a really large house but if that’s the case, it’s probably so that you can use it for Kingdom purposes.

God calls us to live a life of sacrifice for His glory.  Sometimes that may lead His people to “positive” situations, and other times it may lead to a life of poverty or even worse in the world’s eyes.

God led Jim Elliott and Nick Saint to become missionaries but they were martyred as soon as they landed on the mission field.  Many have come to Christ as a result of their story, including the very natives that murdered them.

Their deaths could have meant a couple of different things:

  • They were out of God’s will by going,.
  • Dying for Christ their purpose in that situation.
  • God simply took a bad situation created by free will and used it for good as Romans 8:28 described.

Do you think opportunites that seem positive are always from God?  What do you think the deaths of Jim Elliott and Nick Saint was attributed to?  Is God really good ALL THE TIME?

I’d love to hear your comments on this post!