Out of tragedy ∙
Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. – Romans 4:20
1 Samuel 30:1-6
1 David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground.
2 They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.
3 When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families,
4 they wept until they could weep no more.
6 David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the LORD his God.
There is so much disappointment and sorrow in our world. Often it is far off and only affects others whom we do not know. Other times it is very close and personal. During the last few years, our world and our Country have been wracked by floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Recently planet Earth has been stricken with global riots and a deadly, devastating global pandemic. The damage and loss of life are horrendous.
“If you want God’s best in your life and you want to make your life count then you can expect to travel the road of adversity. It’s always there. And it’s amazing how somehow God uses adversities in our life to shape us, to make us fit, and to equip us to do the things that He desires to do in us and through us in life. And when you think about what adversity is, adversity is those ‘dark moments’ in our life” (Stanley).
The Father uses such hardships and times of darkness to develop and mature children the King. Outer turbulence and its consequent inner turmoil, are the raw materials from which strength of character and inner resolve are birthed and developed: from crisis comes courage; from tragedy trust; from failure faith, from loss of leadership.
The dark moments are those times that may last for days, weeks, months, even years when, “We feel depressed, anxious, fearful, thoughtless, sinful, you name it. All those things a person goes through” (Stanley).
“Dark moments” are unavoidable. We cannot run and we cannot hide. The question we have to continually answer for ourselves is, how are we going to respond to them? It is so easy to become discouraged because of the difficulties and hardships we face. The road to anger, bitterness, and depression is short. But there is another path.
1 Samuel 30:6 David drew strength from the LORD his God.
Rather than wallowing in despair, David turns to the Father in prayer and worship. This character quality is what marked David’s entire life and made him a man of faith and a great leader. The Father was perfecting David’s leadership qualities and preparing him for the throne. David abandoned his own poor, faulty, and limited perspective. He had learned to see things from the Father’s perspective. David had learned to see the end, while he was in the midst of the “dark moments” that the Father had brought into his life.
REFLECT & PRAY
9 Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.
10 Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
Father help me to exchange my paltry and insufficient perspective for Yours. You see the end from the beginning, and You are always at work to accomplish Your will on earth as it is in heaven.
In this world adversity, hardship, trouble, and times of darkness are certain.
Job 5:7 For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward.
Many people allow adversity to become overwhelming obstacles and setbacks. Remarkably, others stand firm with confidence in the faithfulness of God. The latter has an overwhelming sense of stability and immovable strength. They weather the storm, head held high, confident, bold, not repressing anything. They feel absolutely certain that their Father is going to see them through the heartache and bring them out whole and joyful and more mature on the other side (Stanley).
Where is the Father in adversity? Can we trust Him when He says He will never leave us nor forsake us?
The Father is always with us in our adversity. Adversity is the barometer He uses to reveal to us our current level of faith and trust. But he doesn’t leave us there. As we learn to respond properly and endure the “dark moments,” the Father develops our faith and trust.
The ultimate question for each of us is, do we truly want to worship the Father and bring glory and honor to Him? Godly spiritual character is forged out of our adversity. Adversity is not a sign of failure, but rather evidence of “a work in progress.” To become fully equipped for service, children of the King must go through and endure heartache, disappointment, and pain. He uses “dark times” to mold and shape us.
The Father has something definite in mind for each of His children as He conforms us into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Father allows adversity only so long as it is needed. Once it has performed its function, He takes it away (Stanley).
Hardship and sorrow are like a gas-powered lawnmower. Eventually, the lawnmower runs out of gas and stops.
“The dark moments of our life last only as long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose. So, there is a limitation on them. There is a purpose for them. There’s a very specific purpose. They last only as long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose” (Stanley).
This often leaves us with many questions. “What is my purpose?” “What is His plan for my life?” Do not be surprised if the Father does not tell you. What He wants from you is your trust.
Remember, He alone is God and there is none like him. Everything He plans will come to pass, for He can do whatever He wishes (Isaiah 46:9-10).