The LORD [is] near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
~ Psalm 34:18-19 ~
“Character,” said Helen Keller, “cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ”
Our approach to adversity will determine the outcome and the effect it will have in our lives. Will we trust our heavenly Father’s promise to be our shield and our exceedingly great reward (Genesis 15:1) and accept His will? Or will we, like the remnant of Judah fleeing to Egypt, refuse His will for our lives?
Adversity always brings fears and awakens doubts. Fears squelch faith and doubts cause us to question God. Both can lead us to the wrong conclusions about God. But, adversity can also gave us one of the greatest victories in our lives.
In the summer of 2008, I got a skin infection which would not heal. Fears that I would spread the infection to others kept me from hugging friends and family; doubts led me to question God’s motives in not healing me.
After about seven months of contending with the Lord, or as He would put it, of kicking against the goads, I understood that I was sinning against Him. He used two Scriptures, Job 1:22 and Job 2:9-10, to open my eyes:
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. . .
Then his wife said to him,
“Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
But he said to her,
“You speak as one of the foolish women speaks.
Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”
In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
God’s two-edged sword pierced my soul; He knew my thoughts and heart. And, He revealed my sin to me: I accused Him of wrongdoing; and I refused to accept His will for my life. Immediately, I repented and asked for forgiveness. At that very moment, too, the Lord removed the skin infection.
The victory was complete, the lesson was learned. I was now prepared for the heart-wrenching months that were ahead of us. I was quicker to accept what God brought into our lives, though I did not know why or understood it. Isaiah 30:15 became a constant reminder to trust Him, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
I learned that God knows the beginning from the end and that He is worthy to be trusted even in what appears to be a disaster to us. He wants to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him, if they are willing to trust Him (2 Chronicles 16:9).
The Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, is with you today. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is on the throne in heaven and in control of your life. Nothing escapes Him, nothing falls between the cracks; and though we have difficulty being still before Him, know that His answer to your prayer is on its way. He is with you in adversity, to provide for you, comfort you, and love you; you will have His perfect peace in the midst of your situation, because He abides in you.
Lord bless you, my friend. I will continue with Part 3 of “Adversity is Good?” tomorrow.