As much as I may initially dislike the concept, there is no way to progress except through pain. Body builders live by the motto, "No pain, no gain." While I'm not interested in spending much time in the weight room, I am interested in growing personally and helping our church to mature and grow in the Grace of God. The same principle applies.
For every action there is an equal, opposite reaction. This natural law has some application in the Spiritual sense also. In the Old Testament, a thief was required to repay 7 to 1. Whatever may have been taken from you, will be repaid to you seven fold in time. It is amazing that God will require the enemy to bring blessing to you. Often they do not even know they are repaying you but they are.
In God's Kingdom, He takes the poor, broken and unlearned and uses them to confound the mighty. We are often prone to curse the limitations and setbacks that happen. In the moment they hurt and seem unfair. Our natural man wants to get mad, get even, settle the score etc. But in time, we find that the pain of the moment was merely a little pressure from the Potter, who was and is molding us into the plan He has for our lives and our church.
Keep in your mind that God is working all things for our good. He can take our disappointments and turn them into tremendous times of victory. It seems that God is glorified when we get to the point where we must leave the results to Him. If we will trust Him in those moments, He will be honored by bringing impossible situations into triumph of the most prolific variety.
A man spoke into my life recently and said, "You know, the way you were willing to lose (ie. leave denominationalism) in order to win is likely how God will take you and your church to the next level." Tides come in and tides go out...but in it all, God is in charge of the ocean. I am not forecasting gloom here. Rather, I am forecasting amazing things in God. The Word says, "We are His people and the sheep of His pasture!" The Great Shepherd will lead us if we will be willing to follow...even if it may not be the way we would have personally chosen. In the end we will have one of those, "Oh...now I see!" moments. Be willing to lose for the moment....b/c you know it means you will be winning in the end.
In my life this principle has occurred over and over. Lose a little....gain a lot. Lose a little....gain a lot. It's like Moses having to surrender the rod in his hand...the very thing he leaned on. It's like Abraham being asked to give up his only son in exchange for a perpetual promise. It is like a widow being asked to give up her last cake in exchange for unending supply of food. It is like a man with a withered hand being asked to extend it ...an exchange of humiliation for healing. I think you get the point. The same God is still on the throne. Everything you sacrifice for the kingdom will be rewarded. Remember what Jesus told Peter..."If you will give it up for me, you will be rewarded a hundred fold in THIS life and in the life to come." Wow!!
God is faithful and loves you so much. Be encouraged today.