God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way
By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will still remain
And He will do something new today
– Don Moen
Are you a planner? Or are you spontaneous? Do you jump at opportunities? Or do you like to maintain security? Whichever disposition you have, it is easy to get discouraged and frustrated when roadblocks arise. Inspirational posters will tell you that everyone fails, success only comes if you try, mistakes are a part of growing and closed doors mean open windows somewhere else. But those self-help mantras offer little consolation when you have poured your heart and energy into something and it falls apart.
When discouragement comes, I find much consolation in examining the ministry of Jesus. Our mindset is often that numbers in attendance, positive feedback, monetary success and satisfaction means that God is blessing us. But consider Jesus’ work. He came preaching a message that people rejected. He worked miracles that drew enormous crowds, He healed the sick and welcomed the outcast and lowly. But every time a big crowd started to follow Him, He deepened the level of His teaching and everyone abandoned Him. Crows of 5,000-10,000 were scattered after being healed and fed by teachings like,
“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”
– John 6.51-56
Often times Jesus was left with only the twelve. And those were the easy times. After Jesus made claims to be God, the crowd turned from adoration to trying to kill Him. And the last time, which was by the will of God, they succeeded. And it was through His death, burial and resurrection that we are offered eternal life.
If I were experiencing the ministry of Jesus and believed Him to be the Savior and Messiah, I would not have expected him to alienate Himself and to ultimately be killed. But we can see in retrospect that His death is that most glorious of events that leads to our salvation.
Have your dreams ever been shattered? Have you ever been disappointed in ministry? In the events or happenings at your church? Have your numbers dropped? Have people left? Has the teaching been too difficult to understand? Has a door been closed in your face? If so, remember today that the hope that you have for eternity was found in apparent discouragement. Jesus polarized people and was ultimately killed by His claims of deity and Truth. And it is through that heartbreak alone that we can be made new, that we can know Truth and Him who offers us life. God has made a way, and He will continue to make a way when we do not see a clear path of success and victory.
He has the victory.
Trust in Him and follow Him boldly.