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From obstacles to opportunities – Part 1

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The Lord Jesus Christ delivers and leads His people out of obstacles into great and multiplied blessings. Joseph’s life and testimony in the Bible reveal that obstacles cannot stop the Christian’s journey to greater glory, as God has the power to turn them to glorious opportunities for His faithful children.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God works mightily in the lives of those who are called to bring them “out of” obstacles “into” His blessings. This is an unchanging divine principle that summarises His dealing with His people in the past. And He still delivers those who exercise faith in Him today. He first saves the earnest seeker from sin and delivers him out of all other problems. Thus, believers are called “out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

With faith anchored in God’s word, obstacles become opportunities, barriers become blessings, stumbling blocks serve as stepping stones, persecution paves way for promotion, weakness results in wealth, rejection leads to royalty, problems translate to prosperity, hatred of men turns to happiness in God. God gives us grace, power, purpose and promises, so that great mountains will not be able to stop our progress. God can convert every negative thing in your life into something good and positive.

Everyone has obstacles, but they do not spell the end of the road for God’s people. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua, Moses, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Old Testament, and Jesus Christ our Saviour, Peter, John, James and Paul in the New, all had obstacles.

What are obstacles before God’s favoured people? (1) Persecutions – adversaries of the faith oppose the spread of the gospel. But persecution did not remove a moment of success from the ministry of Paul. Persecution will arise but cannot hinder God’s purpose for our lives. (2) Pride – this obstacle comes from within and makes you an obstacle to yourself.

Pride can hinder the believer from receiving God’s blessings. (3) People – close associates who are hard and wicked can pose great obstacles to the purpose and will of God and thus weaken the believer. (4) Principalities – when the Lord fulfils His promise of elevating the believer, principal men in the enemy’s camp will seek to fight him. (5) Prophets – false prophets who do not exalt Christ and emphasise repentance from sin and salvation through Christ, will seek to derail the believer from the path of truth. (6) Prosperity – trusting in prosperity can hinder the materially rich from receiving eternal life.

Preachers who shy away from preaching the soul-saving truth, as well as the world who deify the rich make it difficult for the rich to get saved. (7) Pleasure – lack of self-control can turn one’s heart from the Lord. (8) Position – the positions that the Jewish rabbis held in the synagogue became a great obstacle that hindered them from salvation. But these obstacles cannot hinder the progress of a true believer who obeys the Lord.

Further Reading (King James Version): Zechariah 4:7; Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28; Genesis 41:14; 1 Samuel 2:8; Deuteronomy 6:23; Psalm 40:2; Ezekiel 36:24-27; 37:12; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Corinthians 16:9; Philippians 1:12-14; 2 Kings 5:1,8-14; 2 Samuel 3:39; 5:1-3,10,17-19; Micah 3:5-7; Mark 10:17,19-25; Ecclesiastes 2:1-11; 1 Kings 11:1-4,9; John 12:42,43.


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