Friday, July 25, 2008

The solution for adversity

Chances are, whatever you and I are struggling with, it is nothing compared to what Christ faced on Calvary. And yet in Luke chapters 22 and 23, we have a perfect example of how to face adversity--no matter how unusual or ordinary the situation.

The first line of action is private prayer. We call it "God Time" in our house, and every day each person has their own "alone" time. In Luke 22:42-44, Jesus prayed in the garden. He didn't want to suffer, and certainly not to death. He knew that was where it was all leading, though; so He prayed. He knew that if there was another way, the Father would show Him. As He prayed through, God impressed upon Him that there was no alternative. Jesus responded with complete acceptance and submission to the Father's will.

How impatient we become with God! I've been known to become like a child--although not in the Biblical sense--more like a pouty, petulant child, just because God didn't conform to my will when I approached Him in prayer. "Why aren't You doing this for me God? What's taking so long? Don't You want to help me?" God is teaching me that when my prayers aren't answered, it is often because He doesn't agree with my request. It shows in me a lack of maturity in knowing the Father and knowing His will. For if we ask anything in His name, it will be given.

The second part of the solution is our focus on God, especially when we are not alone. When Jesus wasn't alone in prayer, He was always focused entirely on the Father. In Luke 23:35, 37, and 39, Jesus was mocked. Three times, by three different people. And yet His only response was "Father, forgive them. They don't understand." He didn't even answer His mockers directly. He just kept His focus on the Father.

How quick I am to let others' comments "get to me". And then I complain to God that I don't feel His presence or whine that He isn't helping me.

Lord, open my eyes in the ordinary ups and downs of my day. Cause me to see that I must approach life the way Jesus did. Show me that time spent alone with You is invaluable if I am to know You more. Teach me that by staying in Your Spirit at all times, I will overcome.

1 comment:

Shannon Schroeder said...

How right you are! As Christians, one of the things that we know for sure is that we will be persecuted. How critical to follow the model of Jesus when faced with adversity. Leaning on our own strength and understanding is a guaranteed path to failure. Leaning on the Lord allows us to share in His victory over the world.