“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.”
Sometimes God says “No”!
We don’t like it when our plans are frustrated. Paul had planned to go and visit the Christians in Rome “often”, but it was not God’s will for Paul and so he “prevented” him.
Paul’s reasons for planning to go were good reasons. He wanted to have ministry there and lead people to Christ. He wasn’t being selfish. But still God’s answer was “No.” Be very careful to trust in God’s wisdom and timing. In seeking God’s will you must have the conviction that God’s ways are best.
Eventually God did send Paul to Rome, but not like Paul had planned or expected. He went in chains as a prisoner of Rome. And God used his imprisonment to spread the gospel throughout the entire Roman guard. What abundant “fruit”!
God wants you to trust him, even when his answer is “No” or “Not yet”.
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