Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Victory Over Adversity

Scripture:  Isaiah 55: 8 - 11:  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. 
9  For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
10  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

When adversity hits us like a ton of bricks, it could easily throw us into a pit of discouragement and despair. 

Although we may regard difficulties as setbacks, the Lord sees them as times for great advancement. His purpose in allowing them is not to destroy us but to stimulate our spiritual growth. In His great wisdom, the Lord knows how to take an awful situation and use it to transform us into the image of Christ and equip us to carry out His will.

Every adversity that comes into our lives is sifted through God’s permissive will. That doesn’t mean the difficulty itself is His perfect will, but He’s allowed the trial to touch you so that He can use it to accomplish His wonderful purposes for your life. Although some of the suffering we see and experience seems senseless or blatantly evil, we must recognize that we have a very limited perspective and cannot always understand what the Lord is doing.

Our heavenly Father sees every aspect of life, but our view is restricted to what is right before us. His plans include not only us but also all of His creation, and they reach from the beginning of time to eternity. Though we’ll never grasp the infinite mind of God, we can know His faithfulness and love.

When we can’t understand God’s ways, focus on His perfect knowledge, wisdom, and power rather than the magnitude of our sorrow. Remember, He sees the entire picture and loves us more than we can imagine. This is a time to walk by faith, as perfect understanding comes only in heaven.

He only has purposeful plans, Jesus never has problems.  He will use every calamity, disaster, pandemic, tsunami or whatever situation presents itself to strengthen His bond of love with us.  He will always be with us, individually and collectively.  Did He not say, When two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them.

Jesus sends forth a command, His Word, and when it has been uttered it shall not return to Him without fully accomplishing everything He intended it to do.  He is the great I AM!  He is the Master Designer and Creator of Earth and all that's in and upon it.  He created us in the image of God.  And we will not return home to Heaven until God is reflected in our lives.

So do not look upon our present affliction of Coronavirus as a time of despair and wipe out.  We can use it as a stepping stone to real change in our society, or a crushing rock that we can never recover from.  We have choices in this matter.

Are we wailing and complaining about forced isolation, campaigning to shorten the days somehow or find ways to rebel against it?  That's asking for trouble!  Or we can turn our time into whatever purpose the Lord has for us to do.  All we need do is ask Him.

He has given tasks to people to uplift the needy who have no food, no masks, by delivering food parcels, sewing masks, helping the elderly, finding things that interest children like dusting off old jigsaw puzzles, or different ways of learning math.  Whatever Jesus gives us to do should be done to the very best of our ability.

Paul was beaten, whipped, imprisoned, shipwrecked, bitten by a snake, always in some kind of danger but he never let it faze him.  He counted himself blessed to be found worthy to suffer on behalf of Jesus and the gospel.  He turned all the afflictions and torments into victories for Jesus.  Let us adopt this triumphant attitude and make the best of our present situation.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we praise You for watching over us through every moment of our lives since we were born again.  You know how many hairs we have on our heads.  You are aware of every detail concerning us.  Whether we live or pass on we are Yours, and in Your Kingdom.  It is Your will for us and we abide by it always.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.