lessons I've learned from Thanksgiving

Dear Friend:

The New Year brings fresh optimism and renewed determination. We make resolutions and go for them with gusto! But sometimes, we don’t get very far before we start feeling like Paul in Troas on his second missionary journey.

Troas wasn’t part of Paul’s plan. He and Silas had detoured there only after the Holy Spirit, for reasons unknown, “prevented” them from ministering in Asia (Acts 16:6). Imagine how Paul must have felt—longing to do something good for the Lord, and He slams the door shut!

Have you been there too, wondering, What on earth are you up to, God?

Paul got his answer overnight when a man from Macedonia appeared in a vision, begging the apostle to bring the good news to his land. Talk about a clear direction! One door slammed closed . . . another swung open.

Don’t miss what Luke, who had joined them, tells us next: “So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once” (Acts 16:10).

Paul had never been to Macedonia. He didn’t know the language, the people, or the culture. But he went immediately . . . and from Macedonia the gospel eventually spread throughout all of Europe!

Paul’s story reminds me of two people we introduced you to in our latest volume of Insights: Jim and Kelley. Like Paul, these two felt a tug on their hearts to do something good. Although they had three biological children, they felt the Lord was leading them to adopt a child. So, from Missouri, they began making inquiries to begin the process within the U.S. But no matter how hard they tried, the doors just would not open.

If you caught the first half of their story in Insights, you already know why God kept that door closed: so He could open the door to international adoptions in India. Their family grew first with Ganga Grace and, recently, with her new husband, their son-in-law. But Grace did more than fulfill their desire to adopt. She opened Jim and Kelley up to a bigger calling.

I can’t wait for you to read the rest of their story in the next Insights! But I just have to spoil it—just a little bit—by telling you that through Grace, the Lord gave Jim and Kelley a passion for the entire country of India. He swung wide a bigger and better door than the one they had begged Him to open. Today they’re partnering with us financially to bring God’s truth to every corner of Grace’s homeland!

What about you? What door has the Lord closed? Could it be that He’s leading you to a bigger and better door and growing a stronger passion within you?

Insight for Living Ministries would love to help you pursue your passion and follow the Lord’s calling! Through Vision 195, we’re committed to proclaiming His Word in all 195 nations and their 6,875 heart languages. We’re trusting Him to bring us the partners to make that happen. You could be one of them!

If He’s given you a passion for a particular people group, let us know. If not, seriously pray about donating to Insight for Living Ministries this month. That may be the first step in His plans for you to obey His Great Commission. Who knows? God may even lead you to become one of our Monthly Companions of Grace!

I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year.

Truly excited about which doors God will open,

Chuck Swindoll
Charles R. Swindoll