Following God’s clear direction does not always guarantee a good outcome from our perspective, at least initially.
Sometimes his guidance leads us to arid desert locations instead of green pastures and still waters. These outcomes can diminish our trust in him.
If we find ourselves in distress after obediently following God’s clear direction, we need to remember five things:
- Our suffering is not evidence of God’s inadequacy, negligence, or churlishness. It is the downside of living in a fallen world.
- God knew we would confront this situation. He has made preparations for us.
- God sympathizes with our pain. He is ready to help us endure it.
- God intends to use this affliction to produce goodness in and through us.
- God will resolve our situation as he deems best, an appraisal we can trust.
When we encounter difficulties after following God’s obvious lead, we should keep moving forward for as long as we can and do everything possible to generate a good outcome.
God may clear a direct path through the present difficulty. He may reveal an alternate route to our original destination. If we hit a dead end, God may open a side door to a new opportunity that was previously unknown.
But if our distress ends in disaster, we must remember that God knows what he is doing. We must trust that he will help us endure the resulting pain and use our misfortune for good in either our lives or the lives of those within our orbit.