How He Seeks Us
You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me.(Psalm 17:3)
Repeatedly in the Bible, we see men and women of God drawn into a deeper relationship with God through adversity. There’s no doubt that all the circumstances in the long delay of the birth of Isaac and then the experience of taking his only son up the mountain too offer as a sacrifice brought Abraham into a much deeper relationship with God. The psalms are replete with expressions of the ever-deepening knowledge of God as the psalmist seek Him in times of adversity.
You and I obviously do not seek out adversity just so we can development a deeper relationship with God. Rather God, through adversity, seeks us out. It is God who draws us more and more into a deeper relationship with Him. If we’re seeking Him, it’s because He’s seeking us. One of the strong cords with which He draws us into a more intimate, personal relationship with Him is adversity. If we seek to cooperate with God, we’ll find that we’ll be drawn into a deeper relationship with Him. We’ll come to know Him as Abraham and Job and David and Paul came to know Him.
As we experience God’s seeking of us through adversity, sometimes we’ll be able to see how we are profiting from it, while at other times we’ll wonder what God is doing. One thing we may be sure of, however: For the believer, all pain has meaning; all adversity is profitable.
There is no question that adversity is difficult. It usually takes us by surprise and seems to strike where we’re most vulnerable.it often appears completely senseless and irrational; but to God, none of it is either senseless or irrational. He has a purpose in every pain He allows in our lives. We can be sure that in some way He I tends it for our profit and His glory.
Jerry Bridges gives us the words above in his book Trusting God.
I freely confess that I don’t always understand things that happen. We all know that both good and bad people suffer troubles. We can in someway understand when those who are not so righteous suffer. We may feel that their evil deserves to be punished. Our sense of justice may feel satisfied when the unrighteousness suffer, but we feel that when the innocent and the righteous suffer, something is out of order. I’ve thought about all those who are being affected by the Coronavirus. I’m sure that both “good” and “bad” people are suffering, are sick and have died. Careful reading of the Bible doesn’t support the idea that wicked people suffer and righteous people never have trouble. Jesus taught that “it rains on the just and the unjust”. In the parable of building on sand or rock, Jesus tells us that on both houses, the storm came, the wind blew and the flood came. One stood and the other fell. What then should we learn from all this? First of all, everyone experiences storms and adversity. I’m so glad that when adversity comes, I don’t face it alone. The One who holds the universe also holds me. I at not come out unscathed but I will come through. Like those in the Bible, I can choose to let adversity move me into a deeper relationship with God. I have no idea how long or how intense the virus and the resulting consequences will be, but I believe this: this is the time to draw nearer to God in our relationship. This is the time of preparation for what God wants to do in us and through us. In the now and future world of uncertainty and fear, let us share our trust, hope and faith in the God who has never failed His people and won’t fail us now. James gives us this promise, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Dr. John Thompson