Dear Grace Baptist Family,
We are continuing our look at “destinations.” It is the early part of the summer vacation season and there are many people who are making plans and preparations for their summer vacation destination.
I am having us take a look at another type of destination. These are Biblical places that we should visit and linger in and actually make a part of our daily lives.
Our destination today is, “Canceled.”
That is the last thing we want to hear, CANCELED. Your trip that was so anticipated. All the plans were made—now canceled. Reservations were scheduled, travel, sights to see, things to do—canceled. All the expectations—canceled. The trip, the destination that had been scheduled months in advance—canceled.
It happens all the time. We usually don’t think about it…unless it is our plans that are canceled.
My sister told me that this just happened with the trip that she and her husband were going on. Due to massive flooding in the area they were going to at Yellowstone Park, everything was canceled.
When our destination is canceled there are so many things that happen instantaneously. There is disappointment [Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick…]. You have to rearrange all your plans including travel, other lodging plans that you had made, special things you were planning. There can be financial implications—nothing you do on short notice compares with planning months in advance. There can be anger, resentment, bitterness. If you have children, you have to discuss it with them. Vacation days cannot be easily rearranged. And the list goes on of how our lives can be disrupted when our destination is canceled.
You will recall a few incidents in the Bible that are similar to this in which there is a cancellation:
- Joseph’s future was canceled by his brothers [Gen. 37-50]
- King David had years of his life canceled as he ran from Saul and even his own son
- Sunrise and sunset were canceled in the interesting event that happened as noted in Joshua 10:12–1312 At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.
- Undoubtedly Mary and Joseph had to cancel their wedding plans when Mary became pregnant [by the Holy Spirit]. Their lives were totally changed with many canceled plans.
- The apostle Paul had some travel plans canceled [1 Thessalonians 2:17–1817 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. See also 2 Cor. 1:16-2:1]
Canceled trips, canceled plans, canceled events are all part of life. It will happen to all of us and there may be serious implications for our lives at each of those times.
What should we do when some destination in life is canceled?
There are Bible truths that are very familiar to us that we should consider. The problem is that they are so familiar that sometimes we fail to apply them to the realities of our everyday lives.
When something in your life is canceled, what Biblical places should you visit?
- Give thanks—1 Thessalonians 5:1818 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- Trust God—Proverbs 3:5–65 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- God is sovereign. Look for the bigger picture of what God is doing. Romans 8:28–2928 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
- Don’t be discouraged. Joshua 1:99 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
- Yield to and accept God’s plan—His will. Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
- God will meet your need. Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- God loves you. 1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
- You can overcome. Romans 8:37–3937 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I hope that your destination plans will not be canceled. But I know that at some point, perhaps many, there will be changes to your plans…and they will challenge you.
Make sure that you prepare for cancellations as much as you prepare for destinations.
I know that these familiar truths will make a difference as you apply them to your life.
On another thought regarding canceled things in the Bible:
Our sin debt is canceled—Colossians 2:13–1413 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Power of death is canceled—2 Timothy 1:10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
The strength of sin is canceled—Romans 8:1–41 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Please pray for our services this Sunday, please pray for me as well. I look forward to worshiping the Lord with you. I do hope you will be able to join us in person.
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