Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. — Philippians 4:11
Do things always go your way? Absolutely not!!! There isn’t a person — EVER — on the face of the earth who has such a testimony. Even Jesus asked that the cup of the crucifixion would pass from Him (and submitted to the will of the Father). Since things “not going our way” is, hence, an absolute, it is critical for us to continuously remind ourselves of this truth AND be constructive regarding WHAT to do when things don’t go our way.
Consider the children of Israel. First Corinthians 10:9-11 says:
Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
There were several times when the children of Israel encountered situations when things didn’t quite go their way. They were confronted by hardship, lack, distresses, and necessities. Their responses left much to be desired, ending up on record for us as examples of how NOT to carry ourselves. When they were without water, they complained. When they became bored with manna (a type of God’s provision), they complained. When their friends were judged by God, they rebelled.
Exodus 13:17-18 provides us with some insight regarding the “ways” of the Lord. It says, “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.” The Red Sea was actually the BEST situation (considering the circumstances). This scenario eventually (and unfortunately) resulted in complaining, crying, and lost confidence. Each of these responses is incorrect and inappropriate.
God is calling for us to be wiser than our predecessors. He is calling for us to: 1) Know God’s ways and 2) Learn to be content in each situation. Things are much better than they appear. All-in-all, if we focus on learning to be content in every situation, when things don’t go YOUR WAY, it won’t matter.
Our testimony should be “I don’t want things to go MY way…. as much as I want things to go GOD’S WAY. As long as things go GOD’S WAY, there’s nothing to complain about…. is there?