“Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Ps 27:11-13 NIV)
Are you in the middle of trouble? We are often surrounded by strife, problems and other nightmarish scenarios that are nothing if they aren’t oppressive. Hope is fleeting, and only gloom seems to lurk on the horizon, to the point that even death begins to look attractive. Will it ever ease up?
Water can face extreme adversity as well. How would we like to be tortured in superheated magma chambers? This is truly extreme adversity! As the water percolates through the ground near an active volcano, it eventually reaches the magma chamber of that volcano. There it is quickly heated up in temperatures none of us would even think of surviving!
However, the heat in this extreme adversity causes the water to rise up to the surface, faster than ever before, where it is graced by the presence of the sun. Its encounter with adversity has changed it. It is now brightly coloured, and can have diverse growth of algae.
When we face adversity, just like that water in extreme conditions, we too will have the opportunity to either be drawn closer to the Son of God and find relief in His arms, or to stubbornly insist that we are the most miserable people of the world.
Adversity compels us to rely on the One who will come through for us. Didn’t he promise: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
We can peacefully enjoy the Son even amidst adversity!
King David experienced this amidst his own adverse circumstances. His own people, even his own son, wanted him dead. Unlike many of us however, David never gave up hope. He knew the extreme heat of his circumstances would draw Him closer to the One who mattered the most in his life. He was completely confident that his tribulations were just temporary, and that through them, he would experience God.
Maybe this is why God said the following about him: “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart . . .” (Acts 13:22 NIV)
It may sure be hot here in the middle of our dire circumstances, but the good news is, there is only one way up!
(To access the entire “Devotions From the Psalms” devotional series, please click here.)