DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: July 9
The Source of Our Adversity
When we experience hardships, we usually wonder why God allows these painful situations to come our way. It just doesn't seem to fit with His role as our loving heavenly Father. We struggle to reconcile our suffering with His love for us and His power to prevent or stop it. In order to understand what's going on, we need to consider the possible sources of adversity.
A Fallen World: When sin entered the world, suffering came with it. God could have protected us from these harmful effects by making us like puppets who could not choose sin, but that would mean we'd also be unable to choose to love Him, because love must be voluntary.
Our Own Doing: Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble with our foolish or sinful choices. If the Lord stepped in and rescued us from every negative consequence, we'd never grow into mature believers.
Satanic Attack: The Devil is our enemy. To hinder anything the Lord wants to do in and through believers, Satan will never cease to harass us. His goal is to destroy our lives and our testimonies, thereby making us weak and useless for God's purposes.
God's Sovereignty: Ultimately, the Lord is in charge of all adversity that comes our way. To deny His involvement contradicts His power and sovereignty over creation.
For us to accept that God allows--or even sends--afflictions, we must see adversity from His perspective. Is your focus on the pain of your experience or on the Lord and His faithfulness? As believers, we're assured that no adversity comes our way unless He can use it to achieve His good purposes.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Never Give In
What, then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? - Romans 8:31
World War II ravaged through Europe for more than two years. The Axis forces looked invincible. England had suffered massive air raids by German forces in late 1940, and again in the spring of 1941.
On October 29, 1941, Great Britain's Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, visited the Harrow School for boys, his alma mater-to speak to its students. What message did the times demand? What could Churchill say to these young men in the face of the Blitzkrieg that seized Europe, leveled London, and cast their lives and futures into a thick fog of uncertainty? His words were simple, moving, and unforgettable: "Never give in—never, never, never, never, never give in."
Are you tired, have you grown weary from the "Blitzkrieg" in your life? There is hope at the cross for you. God is in the business of turning hopeless situations around. Remember, Lazarus had been in a grave for four days, his family was in mourning when Jesus showed up and called him back from the place of the dead. God can make something of the ashes that we bring to Him—Isaiah 61:3 tells us that "He will give us beauty in exchange for ashes." We need to stand firm in our faith and never give up or give in to the belief that He cannot redeem us or the situations we find ourselves in.
Perseverance—it's born of faith, it's nourished by hope and it's a sure sign of strength of character. What role does it play in your Christian life?
- Steve Arterburn