God speaks through our circumstances

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Hearing from God”
Our Bible verse for today: “For I know the plans I have for you – this is the Lord’s declaration – plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God speaks through the circumstances of our lives”
Circumstances can be a powerful way in which God speaks to us. Sometimes he allows the circumstances of our lives to be painful and even crushing, and He then uses those circumstances to get our attention so we will change our ways. We often speak about an alcoholic or drug addict hitting rock bottom and finally making the life changes that have been needed all along. Or perhaps we have gone for years or decades eating poorly and not exercising and we end up with a stroke or heart attack. Then, finally, we begin taking better care of ourselves. Those are examples of circumstances in which God will often speak loudly and clearly to us.
Another way God speaks through circumstances is through the patterns of His activity in our lives which He establishes over a long period of time. God is amazingly consistent in our lives, and He is always in the process of preparing us for whatever it is He is leading us too next. This often occurs over years and decades, with one set of circumstances serving as stepping stones that lead us to the next set of circumstances in God’s ongoing and unfolding plan. In the Bible study “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God,” Henry Blackaby refers to that history of circumstances as being spiritual markers that make up a spiritual map. By recording the history of God’s activity in our lives over the years, we end up with a chronological map that shows us not only where we have been, but were God intends for us to go.
I have two friends who spent their careers in emergency medicine, him as a paramedic and her as an ER nurse. They both started young, completed a full career, and went into semi-retirement while only in their 50s. They also made a series of smart financial and lifestyle choices which resulted in them being unencumbered in this new season of life (and therefore flexible in terms of what they could do with their time). They both also have a love for missions and for humanitarian work.
Today they serve on the Samaritan’s Purse medical disaster relief team. They are part of the very special and very small group of medical professionals who can drop everything at a moment’s notice, get on a plane and fly to a disaster situation in some remote corner of the world, staying there for weeks or even months.  All of that resulted because of a long work of God in their lives which unfolded over decades, step-by-step, and brought them to this point. Once all those events were laid out like that, with all the dots connected, there was little doubt in their minds what God was calling them to do now.
God speaks to you like that as well, and in the days to come we will consider what that might look like in your life. Tomorrow we will consider the sad story of someone who God was speaking to through their circumstances, but who chose not to listen.
God bless,
Pastor Jim 
(If you like what you’re reading in these daily devotionals, and if you would like more content from Oak Hill Baptist Church, join us on Sundays at 10:00 – in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or if you just can’t make it, online at www.YouTube.com/@oakhillbaptistcrossville)
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