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How has staying put in a more difficult or less prestigious situation turned into great progress for you?

How has staying put in a more difficult or less prestigious situation turned into great progress for you?

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  1. I could wish I was involved in more international ministry, traveling overseas, involved in the excitement of missions, making a difference in the lives of young emerging leaders. But instead, here I am re-arranging a library, doing some editing and writing. Yes, I feel quite insignificant.
    This has been a time of great healing and internal growth – a wonderful opportunity for self-examination and personal repentance. Meanwhile, I have been able to embark on new avenues of one-on-one ministry and mentoring.

    When the Lord has given the calling, then we know that even an inexplicable hiatus can be a divinely ordained sabbatical. Paul had two such sabbaticals.

    First of all when he wanted to minister in Jerusalem, but the leadership said “No,” and sent him on furlough to his home in Tarsus (Acts 9:26-30). There he sat on the back burner for as much as five years – until he was retrieved by Barnabas and invited to help with the work in Antioch (Acts 11:19-26). Paul was the great scholar and expert on the Old Testament, but he seems to have been withheld from the public eye and kept out of any prestigious notoriety until the missionary journeys that began from Antioch a year later (Acts 13).

    Again, after three successful missionary journeys, the last four chapters of Acts records how he was confined in Caesarea and then in Rome, for a combined total of five years. Again, He was “out of commission,” simmering on that back burner. Near the end of this time Paul could testify, “What has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (Phil. 1:12).

    Probably during the time in Caesarea, Paul’s companion, Luke, wrote his gospel; and while confined in Rome Paul wrote four of his epistles. It was all included in the plan that Jesus had for Paul from the beginning (Acts 9:15-16; 26:16-18).

    From his confinement in Rome, Paul explains that in such times you learn about prayer, and peace, and contentment, and divine strength.

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:6-7, 11-13

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