As the entire world is walking through a season of trial by fire, it is very easy to forget the goodness of God, or to search earnestly for it and not see it in anything. We struggle with anxiety, depression, fears and worries and wonder how God could “allow” this to happen, when God has never been permissible toward sin. Much of what we experience in this world are the natural consequences of a world under the “misery and influence of the evil one”. (1 John 5:19 TPT) In fact, God very specifically laid out eternal punishment – death – for sin. The problem is that we see life through natural eyes, instead of spiritual ones and we tend to move in the direction of what our eyes see. So, when we don’t see God moving, we try to speak in faith that He is moving, but we still want to see, don’t we? And don’t forget about your adversary! He has a horse in this race too!
Where God wants to see you flourish amid adversity, Satan wants to use adversity to get you to destroy yourself with your reactions to hard times. Does God send Old Testament-style punishments of “Biblical proportions” to the earth anymore? No! Are you alive in a sinful, fallen time where people willfully disobey God and set themselves up as gods, to the detriment, pain and death of innocent people? Yes! Is the enemy legally allowed to operate by influencing people who live in sin and darkness? Yes! Can God stop it? God DID stop it! He sent Jesus! If the entire world followed Jesus Christ, these things would not happen, but the free will of humankind means that even though God sent a Savior, many will not choose to submit to Him- and so here we are!
Where God wants to see you flourish amid adversity, Satan wants to use adversity to get you to destroy yourself with your reactions to hard times.
God is good and only does good. You cannot allow yourself to say or think otherwise because it “exalts itself” against what you know of God. (2 Corinthians 10:5) When bad things happen, it is usually for one of three reasons: 1) You are experiencing the natural consequences of your own bad choices 2) The enemy is at work through someone under his sway trying to destroy your faith and 3) The fallen world is rising up and expressing the depravity and ravages of man’s sin.
Here is the word of the Lord for you, friend:
“Therefore, the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore, He waits on high to have mercy on you: for the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all who long for Him. O people in Zion, inhabitants in Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry. When He hears it, He will answer you. Though the Lord has given you the bread of affliction, yet He, your Teacher, will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.” (Isaiah 30:18-20)
Thought for today
Whatever it is that you’re experiencing in this season of trial, remember this: “The Lord longs to be gracious to you” and this “blessed are those who long for Him”. Your Teacher, your Heavenly Father, has made a way of escape for you. (1 Corinthians 10:13) When you are tempted to despair, give into fear, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, doubts and everything else the enemy will send your way, it may take everything within you to turn away from it, but if you force yourself to turn to the Lord through fervent prayer (James 5:16), worship (Acts 16:25-26) and His living Word (Hebrews 4:12), you will see the goodness of God and you will find the grace to emerge from this season stronger than you were when it all started. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) Remember, the enemy cannot defeat you without your permission. As long as you draw breath- FIGHT.