Devotional

The Places You Don’t Expect God to Move

“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.”

Genesis 28:16

The places in our lives where no one expects miracles, revelations, or promises, are sometimes the very places God chooses to manifest His glory. It takes great faith to believe God’s promises when you feel utterly bereft of the sweetness of His presence. But God is always at work in our lives. He works all things for the good of those who love him and are called to His purpose. Perhaps you find yourself in one of those places. Many characters in Scripture found themselves there. Can I just encourage you? You are in good company. Isaac’s son, Jacob, had fled from the hatred of his brother Esau and found himself on a lonely journey. Jacob’s deceptive scheming went sideways. During the stillness of the night, God visits him in a dream, promising Jacob the blessing of offspring and the invaluable nearness of His presence. This was not what Jacob expected. Nor did Jacob deserve this. There was something much more at stake in the life and lineage of Jacob than he realized. Jacob could not thwart God’s eternal plan of redemption and fulfillment of the promise made to His grandfather Abraham, “In you all the nations will be blessed”(Genesis 22:18). Christ would come from the seed of Promise. Christ would come and turn upside down man’s interpretation of success and blessing. No one looked at Jesus on the cross and thought, ‘This is the way to victory.’

God loves to take the valley of trouble and turn it into a door of Hope ( Hosea 2:15). The places of your life that resemble barrenness–want or lack–are the very places God loves to surprise us with His presence. Sometimes God has to lay us down to show us. The workshop of humility is unappealing for many of us. Yet, to the one who experiences the power and presence of God, it is worth it. God will be faithful to His promises. We will look back and say, “Surely the Lord was in that place.”

Prayer Prompts:

  • What area in your life has been overcome by discouragement?
  • Read Psalm 16:5-6. Pray this verse back to the Lord. Remind your heart that God is trustworthy!
  • Think upon the cross of Christ. In what ways do you see God working victoriously through Jesus’ suffering? How can you take comfort in this? How can you apply this truth to your day today?

Praise Prompts:

  • Thank God for His love that endures forever.
  • Praise God for His power to take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good.
  • Exalt the name of Christ by rejoicing in His perfect and finished work on the cross for you.
  • Remember that what looked discouragingly hopeless became our greatest Hope.