Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- July 28, 2011
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Acts 8:1
Adversity accelerates awareness, because it creates an intense focus around what matters most. It may be your job that needs alignment around your gifts and skills. Your current role is frustrating, fatiguing and not getting the desired results. It may be your finances are suffering. When there is abundance, bad habits can be overlooked, but with lean times, individual expenditures need justification through the lens of wise stewardship.
Furthermore, it could be that your faith has become flabby and comfortable, however hard times have a way of heightening awareness of your heavenly Father. The Lord longs to love you during this low time, so surrender and receive His invitation into intimacy. Be able to say, “Speak [Lord], for your servant is listening” (I Samuel 3:10b).
Indeed, adversity accelerates your felt need for Almighty God. His bountiful blessings may have bored you into just belonging, without engaging in the next step of robust belief. It is good to have gone this far with God, but get ready in this next season to be transformed—for grace does not allow you to remain the same.
The grace of God deserves complete governance over your heart and mind. This happens as adversity burns away the deceptive dross of independent living. It’s ironic that good times contribute to autonomy from the Almighty, while bad times demand dependency. So sharpen your focus on your Savior, by faith. Maybe go away on a silent retreat, just to listen to the Lord. Be a passionate learner during lean times. Follow the example of Jesus: “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God” (Luke 6:12).
Lastly, see adversity as the Almighty’s way to accomplish His will. Without it, good people can stay huddled around a small vision, instead of initiating a larger one for the Lord. Trials push you to be creative, expand capacity, and consider options out of your comfort zone. God’s will is not meant to frustrate you, but to stretch you, so venture out into uncharted territory trusting Christ.
Be grateful that God allowed this hard time, so that your heart of faith could grow. If you react in fear, you may one day regret not seizing the moment with your Master Jesus. Therefore, use this season of suffering to scatter His influence. Stay invested in others and God will open the right doors at the right time. Persecution proliferates prayer. Indeed, adversity accelerates awareness on His behalf. This was Paul’s prayer request: “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains” (Colossians 4:3).
What has the Almighty made me aware of during my time of adversity?
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