Lessons Learned in Adversity

When you are lonely, you are in great company. Does that make sense? Most people would say you are crazy.

Let your mind drift back to scripture. Specifically to those Bible stories you learned when you were a child.

Christmas is approaching. You know about the birth of Jesus. Now think about the circumstances. Barn! No one else around but animals. Joseph and Mary. Then his birth. No doctor or midwife. Just Joseph and Mary. In their loneliness, the Savior is born. Then the shepherds appear to see our Savior. The most significant night in history is a lonely night.

The three Hebrew children in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refused to serve King Nebuchadnezzar’s gods. The King, in his rage, had them thrown into the furnace. That’s because the three Israelites chose to worship only God. The heat of the furnace killed those who threw the three into the furnace. But the story was about to get better. They were not alone in the furnace because now there were four walking in flames. The fourth was like the Son of God. When no one else was around, that’s when Jesus stepped in and resolved the situation. That is how He works.

God told Abraham to go to Mount Moriah and worship; really to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. So off went Abraham, Isaac and two servants. When they came to Mount Moriah, Abraham and Isaac went a little farther for the offering. As they arrived, Abraham said, the lad and I “will go farther and worship and will come back.” What a testimony of faith. Isaac even asked, where’s the lamb. By faith, his dad’s reply, God will provide.

Can you imagine placing your son on an altar as a sacrifice? But this is where God stepped in and provided the sacrifice. Before that moment, it was just Abraham and Isaac. Proof once again, God is never late.

Again, in the New Testament, Paul records the times God intervened in his life. II Corinthians 11:24-27 gives the details of Paul’s loneliness. Yet God was with him in every one of those situations. It didn’t make any difference whether it was a beating, shipwrecked, robbers or false brethren. God was with him. God never deserted him.

When circumstances are adverse, it does not mean God has deserted you or is punishing you. Sometimes the greatest lessons are learned in adversity and loneliness. But each time is for God’s advancement and glory.

So, when you are alone, and things appear to be harsh, He is with you. Open your eyes of faith and see the glory of God in action. He is there because He promised, “never to leave you or forsake you.”

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