July 12, 2022

The Thing God Allows and Nobody Wants

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:24-28, ESV)

For Insight

As you read your Bible and the stories of those whom God called to serve Him, can you identify even one servant God did not allow to experience adversity in their life and on their journey? Try as we might, not even one comes to mind. Not Paul, any of the disciples, Peter, John, not even David, Moses or Abraham. Jeremiah suffered so much he was nicknamed as the “weeping prophet.” These and all we can think of suffered and experienced all kinds of trials, struggles, pain, and adversity, not because they were against God or being hard-headed or hearted, but as they served God.

We might feel as though adversity and suffering are counterproductive to developing a strong faith but on the contrary God sees adversity and suffering as necessary to developing an upright Christian character and having strong faith. We can remember all the Bible verses or promises of God we can, but none will help us unless our faith in God has been tried and tested out. If we live according to God’s plans for us and His will for us we will not escape adversity and some of us may, at times, feel we have more than our share of adversity in life.

Only God knows how much, at what point, and what kind of adversity he will allow us to experience on our journey. What we can be assured of and be comforted by is knowing God will never allow any adversity to come to us that is not designed for us, beneficial to us, even when we cannot see the benefit most immediately or at all. He will never leave our side or remove his protective hand from us. He is always monitoring the situation and our response to it. He will never allow anything to harm us nor desire to break us. He will never let us get away from him nor the enemy to have free reign in our life. He knows any adversity is hard for us but he promises to hold onto us help us through it.   

Praying 2 Corinthians 11:24-28

God our Father and Savior we often feel that adversity enters as a work of the devil, sent to torment us, but thank You for letting us know You allow adversity to serve Your purposes in our life and to serve us also. When adversity comes may we not run from it but see and embrace it as part of Your plan for our life. Amen

Prayer Challenge

Let God know you are submitted to His plans for your life even when adversity is part of that plan for you.

Digging Deeper

Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

Read Job 36:15

Read Ecclesiastes 7:14

Read Isaiah 30:20

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