The Days of Prosperity and Adversity

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July 21 2017

The Days of Prosperity and Adversity

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.”

– Ecclesiastes 7:14

It is no sin to be joyful when we prosper. Though we should be aware of the temptations that are unique to prosperity, we should not therefore think that prosperity is something to be avoided or that we have necessarily done something wrong when we enjoy the good things of life. Jesus, after all, even though He was not a wealthy man and warned that we “cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24), found time to rejoice at the wedding in Cana. He even blessed the guests with a type of prosperity when He turned water into the best wine available (John 2:1–12).

God praises those who give sacrificially to His kingdom (Luke 21:1–4), but He is also clear that a sacrificial spirit is not inherently contrary to the enjoyment of prosperity. Abraham prospered greatly, but he also allowed Lot to possess the choicest portion of the Promised Land (Gen. 13). In the Mosaic law, our Creator promises great prosperity to His obedient people (Deut. 28:1–14). We may even speak of God as having a desire for our prosperity, though we must understand that this will not be fulfilled completely until the new heaven and earth.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 confirms this point, commanding us to be joyful in the day of prosperity. Wise people rejoice when good things have happened to them and when God has tangibly blessed their efforts. There is a place before the face of God to take joy in our Lord’s bounty and to enjoy what He has given us.

Being the realistic student of life in this fallen world that he is, however, the Preacher who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes is under no illusions that God’s people will experience material prosperity at every turn. Actually, there will be days of adversity. Moreover, these days of adversity are no less made or ordained by the Lord than days of prosperity (Eccl. 7:14). Essentially, the Preacher wants us to understand that because God ordains days of both blessing and hardship, there is a place for both in our fallen creation. We should not think that days of trouble are any less from the hand of God than are days of ease and abundance. This will help prevent us from thinking that the Lord is acting less kindly toward us on our difficult days than He is on our easy ones. All that God does is good, and if He has ordained days of trouble for us, we know that He has done so for a good purpose (Rom. 8:28).

Life often fluctuates between good days and bad days, but both are from God. Only He understands how all this works out. We should therefore trust in Him and His goodness.

 

As we grow in faith, we should find ourselves increasingly aware that our hard days are from the Lord no less than our good ones, and we should be thanking Him for bringing trials into our lives through which He works to conform us to the image of His Son. Are you enjoying prosperity at the moment? Rejoice, then, in what the Lord has given you. Are you facing hardship? Know that God is working for your good, and He will use your difficulty to advance His kingdom.

@wearywithsorrow

Cathey Lynn

 

 

 

Willing To Trust God

acts27-20

July 21, 2017

Three Degrees Of Faith

 

Let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece (Judges 6:39).

There are degrees to faith. At one stage of Christian experience we cannot believe unless we have some sign or some great manifestation of feeling. We feel our fleece, like Gideon, and if it is wet we are willing to trust God. This may be true faith, but it is imperfect. It always looks for feeling or some token besides the Word of God. It marks quite an advance in faith when we trust God without feelings. It is blessed to believe without having any emotion.

There is a third stage of faith which even transcends that of Gideon and his fleece. The first phase of faith believes when there are favorable emotions, the second believes when there is the absence of feeling, but this third form of faith believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all urge to the contrary. Paul exercised this faith in Acts 27:20, 25, “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.” Notwithstanding all this Paul said, “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”

May God give us faith to fully trust His Word though everything else witness the other way.

 

When is the time to trust?
Is it when all is calm,
When waves the victor’s palm,
And life is one glad psalm
Of joy and praise?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when the waves beat high,
When storm clouds fill the sky,
And prayer is one long cry,
O help and save!
When is the time to trust?
Is it when friends are true?
Is it when comforts woo,
And in all we say and do
We meet but praise?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when we stand alone,
And summer birds have flown,
And every prop is gone,
All else but God.
What is the time to trust?
Is it some future day,
When you have tried your way,
And learned to trust and pray
By bitter woe?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is in this moment’s need,
Poor, broken, bruised reed!
Poor, troubled soul, make speed
To trust thy God.
What is the time to trust?
Is it when hopes beat high,
When sunshine gilds the sky,
And joy and ecstasy
Fill all the heart?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when our joy is fled,
When sorrow bows the head,
And all is cold and dead,
All else but God.

@wearywithsorrow

Cathey Lynn