When Things Go Wrong

God calls you to do something. Through prayer. Through scripture. Through the words of other believers. Through the Holy Spirit inside you. You sense His calling. His direction. You know what He wants you to do.

So you make a plan. You write goals. You set forth with purpose and passion. You pray something like, “Lord, if this is your will, please open the doors. Work out the details. Make this thing go smoothly.”

And you’re off.

Excited. Expectant. Maybe a little nervous.

So what happens when you hit a snag?

Never mind the snag. What happens when you hit a giant roadblock?

I just finished this life-changing book called Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. There’s a whole chapter devoted to circumstances and how we often let them dictate our decisions.

We hit that snag or that roadblock and we too quickly conclude that something got lost in translation. Maybe God didn’t want us to do this thing after all. Maybe He’s shutting the door.

But wait a minute.

What about Moses?

God tells him to ask Pharaoh to let his people go. So Moses does. And what happens? Pharaoh refuses, gets angry, and makes things worse for the Israelites. What would have happened if Moses would have assumed he misunderstood God? What if Moses would have turned back? Given up?

He would have missed out on leading the Israelites to freedom. He would have missed out on experiencing God’s deliverance in a huge, miraculous, mind-blowing way.

Here’s the thing.

Sometimes, our current circumstances stink. And oftentimes, we’re all too quick to turn and run. Claw our way out. By our own strength and our own will.

But maybe, God doesn’t want us to.

Maybe, we’re right where we’re supposed to be.

Maybe, in the midst of the hardship and the confusion and the unmet expectations, God wants to show us something we wouldn’t see otherwise.

Maybe, in those weak helpless places, God’s strength is made perfect. And we see, along with a watching world, that He’s still God. And He’s still powerful.

Let’s Talk: How much of an influence do your circumstances have over your choices? When something goes wrong or something gets tough, do you assume you’re off course? Or do you sit still and seek God’s guidance?

*Photo by Jacqueline ter Haar on Flickrremovetweetmeme

31 thoughts on “When Things Go Wrong

  1. Susan J. Reinhardt

    My pastor spoke about this today. Bad stuff seems to come in an effortless flow. Yet, good stuff meets with resistance. The enemy will do all he can to hinder God's plan for our lives.

    I love the scripture in John that says the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I've come that they might have abundant life.

    Susan πŸ™‚

  2. Jill Kemerer

    I have gotten much better at accepting rough circumstances and trusting in God's will. That's the great thing about life–it's never too late to learn!

  3. Angela C.

    It is SO hard not to let your circumstances effect the way you think/feel/the decisions you make etc. At least it is for me! I foten jump to conclusions and wonder if maybe I misunderstood or if I should change directions. I am trying to seek out the wisdom of others and scriptural examples (like the Moses one you gave) to remind me of other people's experiences. On most journeys, there will be hardship and doors may close but it doesn't necessarily mean you need to change tracks. If we stay focused on God and open to all opportunities we just may find that although things don't happen the way we think they will, God will get us where He wants us in His time… eventually… πŸ™‚

  4. Tessa Emily Hall ~ Christ is Write

    Great post! So true. I love the quote "God can't bring you the rainbow until you have gone through the rain."

    Thanks for this reminder. πŸ™‚

  5. Shannon O'Donnell

    This reminds me of the song, "Praise You in This Storm". God never promises that things will be easy, but He does expect us to trust in His wisdom. Sadly, that is NOT easy for us as humans. I try to stay focused on Him through the roadblocks, hoping He'll steer me through them.

  6. Kelly Lyman

    Great post, Katie, and SO what I needed to read today! Thanks for the reminder. I'm finished up a Beth Moore study on the book of Esther and she touch on this topic as well. Like in the book of Esther, God's name can not be found, but He is all over the page. I think sometimes God quiets himself from our lives so we'll lean on him more and this expands our faith- staying the course that he set out for us even when we may feel he isn't there.

  7. Romanianboundgirl

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going…
    When God lays something on our hearts to pursue– no matter how big or small– you are instantly excited and on fire to meet the challenge. A true test of our faith is staying the course even when the road gets bumpy. When we answer His call, we have to remember that the work isn't done then. God is still growing us closer to Him and the end result–if you stay the course– is a stronger faith, that only gives glory to Him. 1Thessolonians2-10 remind us of that truth.
    P.S. Great writing! Thought provoking and full of truth, Katie!

  8. Katie Ganshert

    I've loved reading these comments!

    Lacie – thanks so much for the encouragement. It's nice to hang out on Wednesdays. πŸ™‚

  9. Paul Anthony Shortt

    I believe completely in being able to change my circumstances and following the path I believe is meant for me. With my mind set in a place of knowing that I already have my goals, it's just taking time for the world around me to catch up, I watch for the opportunities to make that happen.

    It's all too easy to mistake a challenge for a dead-end. We are made by how we overcome those challenges.

  10. Eileen Astels Watson

    Sadly, it depends on how strong my faith is at the time. I'm not the most decisive person on the block either so, yeah, I often wonder if my faith waves got crossed.

    After I've done the unneccessary stewing, I pray through it and answers come.

  11. Jaime Wright

    Can't I just hide my face in a good cup of coffee and wish my problems away? πŸ™‚ When things go wrong I usually panic. THen I call my DH. Then I drink coffee. THen I remember to pray. I think I should switch the order around and delete the panic. Trust me, my DH would MUCH prefer I call him after prayer and a good cuppa jo!

  12. Heather Sunseri

    I'm sometimes quick to wonder if God is telling me "no" instead of "not now." This post is a wonderful reminder that just because something blocks our path on the way toward reaching a dream, doesn't necessarily mean we're meant to give up. That's why prayer and conversation with God is so important.

  13. Patti

    Sometiems it's hard to see the greater blessings when we are in the midst of a trial, but they are always there.

  14. Catherine West

    Hmm. A good question. Since I believe God is the ultimate director, I don't believe in coincidences. Yes, we can make choices that end up taking us places we'd rather not be, places maybe we shouldn't be, but this is no surprise to God. A lot of times those tough places are exactly where we NEED to be, in order for God to accomplish what he set out to do in the first place. As cliche as the saying is, if He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it. Or something like that!

  15. Lacie Nezbeth

    Guilty, guilty. I've be known to say, "maybe it just wasn't God's will." But you're right…the working through something, the pressing on often reveals a greater blessing in the end. Great post, Katie!

    So glad to see you here midweek! I'm likin' it! πŸ™‚

  16. Brandy Heineman

    Good post, Katie. I know there have been times when I assumed God removed His blessing because things didn't seem to be going well. I try to remember 1) no one can frustrate God's plans (Isaiah 14:27) and 2) all things working together for good (Romans 8:28) doesn't mean the same thing as everything going smoothly. Once when I was struggling with a difficult thing that God wanted me to do, I actually asked Him for circumstances to help me make my choice, even if it meant pain. He answered that prayer, and afterward I realized the painful experience was a double-helping blessing. I got the clear instructions I felt I needed, but I also understood it as missing the opportunity to respond in faith in the first place. This isn't to suggest that all tough spots are the result of not answering the first call, but just to give an example of how a prayer for certainty ended up bigger than I expected with a lesson to trust Him more. πŸ™‚

  17. Tana Adams

    Yes that was me deleting 6 times. Thanx blogger for the repeats!

  18. Tana Adams

    My prayer is that the Lord keep me in the center of his will. Iv'e felt his peace even in the toughest of circumstances.

  19. Olivia Newport

    I haven't read Blackaby's book, but it seems to me that stuff happens in anyone's life. It's part of the human condition. The older I get, the less I get strung out about trying to get all the ducks to line up right and the more I burrow into looking for God's presence no matter what is going on. What is God going to redeem in this situation? He might not solve my "problem" but he is there. When we give up going to God with the unspoken agenda that he is going to make things better, we open ourselves to experiencing God, just God.

  20. Wendy Delfosse

    Katie, this was for me wasn't it? You got a little sneak peak inside my head and knew that that little nagging thought had been pestering me?


    Oh well, it worked anyway.

    Yeah, it's a REAL temptation to think when things are hard or doors are closed that we're doing something wrong. I mean it may be a good time for evaluation, but not an automatic about-face. Even Jesus faced people closed to him, didn't mean He was wrong for proclaiming the gospel. πŸ™‚

  21. Lisa Jordan

    Years ago, I did an Experiencing God Bible study–it was a turning point in my life. At that time, I was a newer Christian and that study helped lay a foundation for my faith. I should pull out that book and review it.

    We've had several snags in the past couple of years. Each time I've asked God for clarity. I know everything happens in His timing. I just need to stay patient and faithful.

  22. Kristy K

    My friend always sees those roadblocks as Satan, so she fights even harder to overcome them. I'm the opposite in many ways, giving up too easily, doubting myself, etc… I'm hoping to be more of a fighter eventually :).

  23. Jessica R. Patch

    Excellent post! I loved the Experiencing God Bible study. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience.

  24. patti.mallett_pp

    Oh, man. Oh, man. Oh, man….Did I ever need this (bonk on the head).

  25. Jessica Nelson

    I like to think I sit still and try to hear what God wants me to do. I'm not a fast reactor anyway (not my personality) so sometimes that works in my favor.
    And sometimes it doesn't. LOL

  26. Katie Ganshert

    Carrie! So fun to see your name on here! Love your comment. I'm totally guilty of reacting from emotion. I guess next time I do it, I know you can talk some sense into me!

  27. carrietakespictures

    I think I have a knee jerk reaction to react. It causes me to not consult the Holy Spirit, but to react from emotion. NOT GOOD! When I see someone else acting this way, I'm quick to direct them back to God. It's something I'm working on. We always have to keep in mind, God ordains our circumstances. When we seek God's will, it becomes more obvious. Hopefully, we mourn what WE want and submit to God's perfect plan for us.

  28. Wendy Paine Miller

    You know me, the queen of reflection. I probe and poke and flip circumstances over and over (and hopefully somewhere in this process I pray).

    I also try to count my blessings and figure out what I'm to be learning. I could learn from a rock. Huh, I do learn from a rock.

    Any…way. πŸ˜€
    ~ Wendy

  29. Jen Daiker

    This was such a fabulous post. I really, really adored it. I have no doubt that your comment on my blog today pushed me to visit yours (since I finally had time) and it was meant to happen.

    I used to run from circumstances. Hate my job – run for the hills. Didn't like snow – run from the city. Couldn't work with someone – walked away.

    Since moving to another state I created a new me as did my husband. Together we work through problems and analyze what's best for us. We've recently hit a roadblock and are deciding what way to go. In these past three years we've hung on to it but now I'm wondering if we just had to wait for the strength to change our path.

    This post has really made me happy to have stopped in. You've made my day all the more cheerful.

  30. Laura Pauling

    I don't always assume I'm off course. But I"m sure my circumstances do play a role in my decision-making. It would be hard to separate the line.

  31. Laura Pauling

    I don't always assume I'm off course. But I"m sure my circumstances do play a role in my decision-making. It would be hard to separate the line.


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