TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE: From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. - Acts 17:26-27.
Did you realize that the Bible tells us God predetermined the time and place that you would live? Truly, you are where you are on purpose. The God-who-sees-you determined where and when you would be breathed into life. He has a plan for your life and is not surprised by the twists and turns that rise up in each of our stories.
John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible articulates it this way, “in which every man was, or is to come into the world, is fixed and determined by God; nor can, nor does anyone come into the world sooner or later than that time; and also the particular country, city, town, and spot of ground where he shall dwell; and the term of time how long he shall dwell there, and then remove to another place, or be removed by death."
You were made for this time and this place in history! What comfort we can gain in knowing that God has not placed us in our current circumstances by accident. He is not far from any one of us and not surprised when life surprises us!
God made you in such a manner so that you “would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him.” Meaning, God has crafted your life in such a way that you would have the best chance of knowing him. What if we examined our circumstances both good and bad from this perspective? God is at work in the good and bad of our lives, hoping that through it all, we would reach out to him and find him.
When we face challenging circumstances, it can be easy to let bitterness push us away from faith. What if you instead let your troubles be a catalyst for a deeper dependence on your Creator? He alone has control over the days that your life contains. He alone can use the hard things we go through and transform them into a testimony of God’s faithful love that carries us through the storms.
Consider Harriet Tubman. She faced many hardships including slavery, abuse, a debilitating head injury, and many other heartbreaking trials. She could have seen her life and place in time in history as a burden too great that would push her away from doing hard things or having a strong faith in a good God. Instead, it was her faith that gave her the strength to do heroic things for others stuck in the bondage of slavery.
She saw her time and very difficult place in history as a chance to reach out to God and hold on in the face of the scariest of circumstances. She viewed slavery as the “next thing to hell” and she boldly helped to free others from that hell with the help of God.
We can trust God for the strength that we need to live our lives well no matter what trials we face. 1 Peter 1:7 says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
God even uses our trials to grow up in us a genuine faith. When we face unrest in our lives we can stand firm in the knowledge that when we reach out to God it will be there waiting to be found by us.