Arise from the Wreckage
Micca Monda Campbell

"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" Romans 8:28 (KJV)

Recently I had an ah-ha moment as I was reading Acts 9. At first, the familiar story seemed dull. You know how it is when you've read or heard the same story over and over. Then a new revelation merged from the content. In my minds-eye I began to see the word "rejection," although it was not in written form. Perhaps I saw what I was feeling that day—rejected.

I was at the part of the story where Saul, a murderer, had just been transformed into Paul, a disciple of Christ. Even though Paul was a changed person, many rejected him because of his past reputation as a murderer. This was only the beginning of Paul's trouble. Throughout his ministry, Paul not only experienced rejection, but great suffering and harassment too. For a changed man, his adversity seemed unfair.

Paul was devoted to serving Christ. He sacrificed his education, his life, and remained single so he could better serve the Lord. And yet, he was shipwrecked on several occasions, falsely accused, and thrown into prison more than once. Doesn't that seem odd for a man called of God? Wouldn't God's favor protect him from such adversity?

I thought about an illness that lingered with me all summer. It was so severe I was all but bed-ridden for months, unable to do life and ministry. I began to feel rejected by God. It didn't make sense. I was serving God in more ways than I could count. Then, without warning, strong winds blew in. Clouds hung overhead and it began to storm. Before I knew it I was "shipwrecked." You've been there, too.

Some of us have been rejected by family, friends, and co-workers. Others have been falsely accused. Some are imprisoned by finances, or blown around by the consequences of someone else's sin. It seems so unfair. You've tried to live right. You walk in obedience the best you can. You take God at His Word and trust in His promises. Shouldn't faith like this call for smooth sailing, instead of stormy, shipwrecking seas?

Isaiah reminds us that God's ways are not our ways. His thoughts and plans are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8; paraphrased). It's tough to figure God out when He doesn't play by our rules or have the same agenda we have. We forget that God sees a much bigger picture.

If we follow Paul's journey, we find God working through the rejection, the trials, the prison time, and the shipwrecks. God used these hardships to position Paul. Not for fame, but to increase the Kingdom of God. Paul witnessed to the Pharisees through his rejection and imprisonment. People saw God's power at work when Paul survived the storms, when the snake bite didn't kill him, and when the jail shook, opening the doors and loosing chains. The Lord used these difficulties so others would witness His power and believe.

Paul allowed God to use him as a vessel. He didn't sit on the sidelines, full of self-pity and doubt. Instead, as Acts 16:22-31 tells us, after being stripped, beaten, severely flogged, thrown in the inner cell of a prison and his feet in stocks, Paul prayed and sang hymns to God. Others around him were listening. The power of God came in such a way, that the prison guard begged Paul to tell him, "What must I do to be saved?" He replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (NIV).

God doesn't waste our pain, our rejection or our "shipwrecks." He uses them to bring about His plan—to position us so that others can see His transforming power at work in our lives and believe in the living God.

If that's true, and it is, then our challenge is to rise from the wreckage, like Paul, so that our lives will give testimony that draws others to the Master. Today I will no longer sit on the sidelines of life full of self-pity. I choose to rise, pray and praise, so that God can position me to shine for His glory, and so that others will believe.

Dear Lord, forgive me for wallowing in self-pity and rejection. I trust that You see the bigger picture. I believe there is a purpose for my pain. Strengthen me to rise from my ashes so that others will see You are my help and my salvation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Cultivating a Heart of Contentment CD by Micca Campbell

When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference by Carolyn Custis James

Visit Micca’s blog for more encouragement.

Application Steps:
God has called us to live by faith, not by sight. Even though we don't always understand our difficulties, they don't have to overwhelm us. Choosing to trust God helps restore a sense of hope and stability to our lives, and also allows us to rise from our ashes.

Reflections:
What will you choose to do today: will you wallow in self-pity or rise and praise the Lord?

Power Verses:
Nahum 1:7, "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." (KJV)

Psalm 121:1-2, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth." (NKJV)

© 2009 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Andrea said...

Thank you, Micca, for such a great reminder to go to God for "strength to trust Him" in whatever we're going through!

I appreciate your prayers.

Love, Andrea

Blogger annieevans said...

This article could have been written just for me. It's easy to trust God in the good times, but when the bad times come...well, we learn what trusting really means. I am saving this one to read every day! Thank you, Micca!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this today. I am stuggling with the death of a friend and this is a good reminder that all things are in His hands even if we don't understand them.

Anonymous Linda said...

Right now, I feel that physically, spiritually & emotionally I am a wreck. May sound extreme but many days that is how I feel-so weak. I have found many great devotions here on P31. Two days in a row God has given me devotions that were what I needed to read. Yesterday's Shelter and today's Arise... were very good for me to 'hear.' Thanks for sharing.
http://adviceformommies.blogspot.com

Blogger KELLY said...

Thank you Micca, I can really relate to this post. I have recently been deeply hurt by my step daughter and even though I feel in some ways it has brought me closer to scripture and closer to prayer, I am having a hard time forgetting and forgiving. After reading your post I realized maybe I'm just wallowing in self-pity and rejection! I posted this on my "blog" so I can read it often. Thank you again!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Micca. This was just for me. Specifically for me. Was dealing with rejection. And it shook my faith. In the sense, I am finding it hard to hold on to hope. I am so hurt that I'm afraid of getting hurt again by expecting something good. Can you pray that I hold on to faith and have a hope. I know it was an attack from the enemy coz I was a cheer leader for encouraging everyone to hold on to faith and never give up. But although I believe that God is faithful and just, I am afraid to believe.

So this message is for me. Need to pick up my faith and carry on with the cross.

Anonymous Betsy said...

Thank you Micca. I needed this. I have been unemployed for almost 2 years now.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I have been going through a trial with my husband and am always syaying why me. This has really helped me. Its amazing but whatever Im feeling there is always something encouraging on proverbs 31 website. Thank you again may GOD continue to bless you!

Blogger Micca said...

Dear Anonymous, Yes, I'm happy to pray for you. I've been praying for each and every person that has responded today--even those who have not.

Hope is the result of putting our faith and trust in God. This world gives us many reasons to lose faith.

God must have known we would lose hope. In His Word there is a story about a man who cries out, "help my unbeilf." And Christ did. Let's ask God together to increase our faith so that we can rise and shine.

10,000 blessings!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

your messages have been right on it is almost as if God is saying, let go and start a new year one full of hope and praise and most importantly faith for this has been a trying year but trust in him and he shall see you through it. i too like everyone have had wreckage and some like you said that just wont ever go away. what keeps me strong is knowing that i have a merciful and loving God who loves me so very much and he has seen me through it all and will do it til the end, see he will not give up neither will i. mant blessings to all throughout the New Year.

Blogger J said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear today! Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to use you :-)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the story, it has really helped me to look at my current situation in a different light. Today was not a good day, but this will help me remain strong and lean on the lord for his help.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Micca
Something that I wanted to hear. Felt rejected regarding employment. My hope is in the Lord.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. I really needed this today. The person I have been with the last 2 years whom I felt was my soul mate is not. I found out on Christmas day while at his families house that he has been talking to someone else. I have been heartbroken but, keep reminding myself that there is a reason for everything that happens. Today’s devotion has helped me remember not to have self pity for myself. It just means that God has something better in store for me. I have to keep my focus on God and he will help me get through this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you cannot imagine the timeliness of the Holy Spirit when I read this. I am in the process of leaving an abusive husband after many years of marriage and was feeling despondent and fearful. Doesn't it make your spirit soar when He uses you to minister to people at just the right time and in just the right way??? Thank you for being His vessel!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible devotion filled with so much treasure! Noone is without some kind of rejection or shipwreck in their life. This not only spoke to me but to a dear friend who is telling her children tonight about her husband's infidelity and their impending divorce. She is a believer and I know this will encourage her greatly! Blessings for allowing God to speak through you!

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