May 10, 2010, 3:21 PM
Facing adversity? Do not take a casual approach to it. Do not take it lightly lying down either. Adversity is not your portion; it is the hand of the devil set to make life a hurdle when God wants our lives to be lived in peace and quiet, not as if we are going through a storm. We ought to identify adversity in our lives and seek to remedy it. Our Lord Jesus, who travelled to the neighbouring villages and towns bringing relief to those whom the devil had oppressed, provides the right and absolute solution to adversity of any kind.
In his teachings, he admonished us to get rid of every mountain in our lives by casting it into the sea, meaning by discarding them. “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) We must not accept adversity. Good loves each and every one of us and has plans he wants us to fulfil during our earthly existence. Anything that is blocking our way or hindering our progress is not God’s will but that of the devil and must be dealt with squarely.
Often times however, some of the mountains we encounter are of our own making. When we venture into Satan’s domain we cannot expect the Spirit of God to guarantee our protection and safety. There are ‘no-go areas’ where we should never trespass, frontiers we should not cross; they are the devil’s domain. When we do, we offer ourselves prey into the devil’s hands. By way of entertainment and leisure, many have regretted ever poking their noses in Satan‘s preserves.
The devil is smart and knows those who are on the Lord’s side and those who pretend and are hypocritical about their relationship with the Father. If unawares we venture into enemy territory, there is a likelihood that we could come out of it safely. If however we deliberately step into the devil’s operation zone it is likely we would come out of it wounded and bruised.
Things do go wrong for several reasons, sometimes even by divine design. When that happens we must be able to discern the source of the adversity. God ordained, it is intended to refine us and mould us. In fact, when adversity becomes the order of the day, the enemy surely has seen some benefit, breakthrough or blessing coming to you from God that he wants to stop, but cannot. He therefore makes life very difficult for you so that in the end you will - under the weight of the trials and tribulation - end up abandoning the race and giving up on your faith. Job knew that his God is not indifferent to his misery. He declared: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him...” (Job 13:15) The Bible teaches that the word of God is a weapon. When our Lord Jesus quoted the Scriptures, “It is written.” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10) Satan left him alone.
God may allow certain adversities in our lives but that is for a reason and for a season. There are times when God will allow us to face the burning furnace like in the case of the three Jewish youngsters Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego but when we come out of it, be sure it would be for his glory. These boys stretched their faith by refusing to bow to king Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statute. They told him to the face: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you on this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18) Their faith was tested with adversity but they did not give in. They stood firm amidst it all.
God will permit such trials and tribulations to come our way just for his glory; the proof is that king Nebuchadnezzar observed that there was a fourth person who was in the furnace with them, confirming that they were not alone. King Nebuchadnezzar was stunned and he questioned: “Weren’t there three men that we tied and threw into the fire? Look I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (Daniel 3:25) They were invited out and king Nebuchadnezzar after realising that nothing had happened to them, cried out: “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angels and rescued them.” He concluded, “... for no other god can save in this way.” (Daniel 3:29)
God promises in his word that he is our refuge and our strength. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) Let us stay in the safety of the tower which is our place of refuge and not venture outside of this umbrella. The devil dares not enter in that place of refuge where you have full coverage.