Life doesn’t always pan out the way we think it should – the way we want it to. Often our hopes and plans are tripped up with unexpected and undesired delays and disappointments.
There are those comparatively minor delays and disappointments that most of us have encountered along the way: the traffic jam on the way to an important event; losing reception just when you have to get that message out; the item that you ordered online that does not arrive by the promised delivery date; the closing on the house that runs into unanticipated red tape, delaying the move-in date; an athletic injury that keeps you from being able to complete the season; a delayed flight – again!
And, there are major delays and disappointments in life, too: another birthday candle on your cake – and you’re still single; the job you thought was a sure thing, that you were counting on, is offered to someone else; your friends all seem to be having babies, but the stork seems to have lost your address; the “golden years” that seem anything but golden now that you’ve lost your spouse.
So, how do we respond to these delays and disappointments in life? An important question we all have to face, isn’t it? Join Pastor Larry McCall as we look at Acts 25:1-12 and see how the Apostle Paul embraced God’s sovereignty over his life – including significant “delays” in his life and ministry. Rather than living with frustration, he seemed to live with fruitfulness, even if it looked like he was side-lined, sitting in prison for years!
1. Can you think of instances in your life where you experienced unexpected or undesirable “delays”? These might be minor or they might be major. What kind of temptations did you wrestle with in dealing with delays?
2. How does embracing the sovereignty of God over our lives guard our hearts from a life of frustration and complaining? (Look at Joseph’s story in Genesis 45:5-9 and 50:19-20.)
3. How does embracing the sovereignty of God over our lives encourage us to pursue fruitfulness for God’s glory where we are even in those situations in which we feel “sidelined” for the time being?
4. How does practicing an embracing of God’s sovereignty over the smaller issues in life help prepare us for embracing the sovereignty of God when we encounter major life delays? Some verses on God’s sovereignty that you might want to look at: Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:10-11; 55:8-9; Dan. 4:35 and Prov. 19:21.