Boaz Baptist Chronicles

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Boaz Baptist Chronicles

Has God "Put You on the Shelf" for Seemingly No Reason

Posted on April 29, 2017 at 9:40 AM

 


Guest Article... by David Hyles

I have friends who are struggling because they are no longer doing the things for God they once did and they miss it terribly. No I am not referring to people who have fallen into some kind of sin. I am referring to people who for no fault of their own lost an opportunity they once enjoyed. Let me be frank. Several of these people WERE on staff at FBC in Hammond or HAC. They had positions and opportunities to really make a difference in the ministry. Through no fault of their own they were laid off and in many cases were unable to simply just pick up and start somewhere else. After 30 or more years in full time service, some are now working secular jobs to survive They remember the days when God was using them in full-time ministry and it hurts. This is true in other places as well. An evangelist suddenly lost the ability to get meetings because of struggling health problems. There are many who feel they have been forgotten by man and even by God. They wonder what they did to deserve this. Several have asked me why. I have thought about this for sometime and recently decided that I wanted to put on paper some of the thoughts God has given me. Perhaps some of these are the reasons why God allows this to happen in people’s lives.


1. Perhaps God wanted to see if your faith was in him or in man. It is easy to trust God when everything is going well but when something (or someone) causes us to lose our opportunities then we really have to decide whether or not we trust God. Does he have a right to see if we trust him? Does he have a right to test us? Perhaps like Job, Satan came and told God that you were only faithful because you had been blessed. Maybe God is trying to prove to Satan that you are genuine. He has that right to do so. He IS God.


2. Perhaps God wants to give you a season of rest. I am a believer in this. There are seasons in our lives where God just lets us rest in him. I know we still must work. But God wants to refresh our spiritual side to prepare us for another work he has for us to do. Ministry can be taxing. Sometimes we do not even realize how weary we were. The wilderness is not an end. The wilderness is a means to an end. Just ask Moses.


3. Perhaps God has a smaller work for you to do. Huh? I thought we always went to bigger works. That is a total misconception. Sometimes God moves us from influencing large numbers of people to dealing with one person or a handful. I preached to thousands as a young man. Today I minister to one person at a time. Honestly, I love it. Jesus was good at both. Perhaps I was only good at one. Maybe God wants you to slow down and take note of the individual for a while.


4. Perhaps God is preparing you for something else. Sometimes God has to take something away from us in order to get us to do what he has for us next. I talked to a man recently who is discouraged because his health is bad and he can no longer preach or pastor. He was offered an opportunity to teach an online Bible course. That opportunity could go beyond his lifetime and do far more good than he ever dreamed possible. Maybe that's what God has for him at this stage of his life. My dad once said to me, "Son if you can't preach, you can still write." That is when the pen became my pulpit. Maybe God wants to move you into a different arena of ministry. Are you willing?


5. Perhaps there is one person God wants you to influence, but it will be your greatest work. Every day we come across people with an opportunity to minister or encourage. You never know, there may be someone you can influence who God will use to change tens of thousands of lives. Everything you have ever done may be dwarfed by the good that one opportunity to influence will do. A Sunday school teacher named Mrs. Bethel had one moment where she told one little boy named Jack Hyles that Jesus loved him. Maybe your moment has not yet come or maybe it has, but you will not know it until eternity.


You didn't do anything wrong. You are exactly where God knew you would be at this moment. Don't get bitter. Don't get frustrated. Don't feel useless. Be willing to accept that God has ways of working that we can never understand until we see him face-to-face.

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