Friday, January 23, 2015

Facing Adversity

Each morning I offer up this prayer:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: 
Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity, and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.   
One of the things that I appreciate about the prayer is the part about asking God to 'preserve me … that I may not … be overcome by adversity…' Since He is the God who hears the prayers of His people and responds to them, I find myself confident in Him having prayed this. I will face adversity during the day, but I will not be overcome by it.

But prayer, though indispensable, is not enough. What God also looks for is faith. The biblical idea of faith isn't about some vague something-or-another feeling that people tell themselves that they have. Faith is accepting as true something that God has promised. And you can tell that you have accepted that promise as true because doing that will affect how you live. It will show in your actions. Any faith that doesn't affect your behavior isn't the kind of faith that God is interested in. 

So, what is it that God has promised me, what is it that I put my faith in as I pray this prayer? Well, He has promised Himself. He has promised to give Himself to me. As I consider that, three things about Him stand out. 

First, there is His love. God is my Father. I address Him that way because He has told me that I can. As my Father He loves me more than I know. And His love is not the wimpy kind that is mere sentiment. His love is real and robust. It is His decision to do me good.

Add to that His power. He is, as the prayer says, almighty. He has all the power that He needs to be sure that all that He has decided to do will in fact happen. After all, what can frustrate God? What can stop Him from achieving some goal He has decided on, like doing me good? 

Then, there is His wisdom. He knows what He is doing as He deals with my life. So, the route that He chooses for me to enjoy that good is the best route. There may well be some hard things for me along the way, but because He is wise, it is the best way to that goal.

These are the things that my Father has promised to me: His love, His power and His wisdom. And I believe Him. So, I pray. I ask Him to do what is necessary so that whatever adversity that I will face won't overwhelm me. And He has kept His promises and granted my request. As proof: I'm still here plugging along.