Aren’t you a bit tired of living in “unprecedented times”?
You’re not alone. I saw a slogan on a T-shirt the other day which read, “I miss precedented times.”
We’re all longing to go back to our normal, predictable lives, the way they used to be.
But even when we’re able to return to a semblance of our pre-pandemic existence, we still aren’t guaranteed a life without injustices, sorrows and unwelcome surprises.
Jesus told us that “in this world, you will have trouble.” And ain’t that the truth!
Even so, we can have hope that with God, we can still live in “precedented times.” How so?
When you read the Bible, you find there are precedents to receiving healing, restoration, wholeness and joy, no matter how dire the circumstances may seem.
Just as precedents in the legal world provide a basis for deciding future cases, the miracles we find in the Bible give us hope and a basis for praying that God would do the same sort of thing for us.
Let’s examine some of these precedents, the way a lawyer preparing for a trial might do.
Are you feeling trapped in a life that seems to be going nowhere, or going from bad to worse? There’s a precedent for that in the person of Joseph.
He was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, unjustly accused by his boss’s wife, and then thrown into prison. And yet God turned his situation around so thoroughly that Joseph eventually became prime minister of Egypt. How’s that for a one-eighty?
Or maybe you feel like you’ve done so many bad things that God could never forgive you, let alone use you for His kingdom? Then look to the Apostle Paul for a precedent.
Before becoming a powerhouse for the early Christian church, do you know what his day job was? Persecuting Christians! And yet God forgave Paul and used him mightily, sending him on missionary journeys and inspiring him to write part of the New Testament.
Perhaps you’re experiencing the despair of infertility: years go by without any sign of life growing in your womb. There are numerous precedents for that sort of anguish in the Bible.
Consider Abraham and Sarah, Zechariah and Elizabeth, and Elkanah and Hannah. All of these couples went through years, or even decades, of barrenness. All of them were eventually blessed with children thanks to God’s touch on their lives.
Or it could be that you’re worn out by chronic illness, frustrated by doctors who aren’t helping you, and have spent your last dime trying to get well. Meet another precedent: the woman in the Bible who’d had a constant hemorrhage for twelve long years. She was instantly healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’s garment as He walked by.
No matter your situation, there’s bound to be an example in the Bible where someone who faced a similar challenge found redemption, hope or healing. Search out these Scriptural precedents, and present them to God as you pray about your own circumstances.
After all, if God has done something in the past, He can do it again!
Precedented times may be just around the corner for you!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.