God promises to give His children wisdom when they sincerely ask for it in faith (see James 1:5-8). But there are times when things don’t turn out as we expected, and in those times, we may wonder if we really received the wisdom we genuinely sought. If we are earnestly seeking His will, God will always reveal what He wants us to do, but He may not reveal His reasons. Confusion sets in when our idea of His reason is different than His. We need to remember, in such times, that God’s focus is often on the lessons we learn in life, and how that affects our character. When we don’t understand the way things turn out, we may conclude that God wasn’t in it. But if we’ll allow Him to teach us through it, we’ll discover that He was. For the child of God who sincerely seeks God’s guidance, the only true failure is the failure to learn anything.
This became clear to me after a nine- year journey God took me through. I took a step of faith in a certain direction and it seemed that God kept confirming that I should continue along that path, so I was confused when things turned out very differently than what I’d expected. In retrospect, I see that those “confirmations” were actually God’s hand of protection upon me in my ignorance. Once I finally realized that He was calling me to abandon that pursuit, I saw how He had been protecting me along the way. I also saw the lessons He wanted me to learn through that. I saw that, while my basic motive was a good one, it wasn’t the right one. I learned valuable lessons about myself, about the way I interacted with others, and why I reacted that way. I even learned what I am, and am not, interested in doing, and that this particular pursuit was not compatible with my personal interests. Though it was commendable that I was pursuing this for the sake of others, it wasn’t my passion and, as a result, I wasn’t enjoying it, nor was I accomplishing the intended goal. When I finally realized God truly wanted me to abandon this path, I felt great relief and joy! But I don’t regret the journey, even though it included many frustrating, confusing and scary moments, because I learned so much about myself, others, and God’s mercy.
So, when things aren’t going as expected, we need to ask God what He’s trying to show us–especially about ourselves. The wisdom we gain is worth the journey!