Tuesday, August 7, 2012

God’s Presence In Adversity and Affliction

A Messianic Promise we may draw upon:
“Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’.”
~Isaiah 30:20-21 (NRSV)
Verse 20 is possibly an example of Scripture that reads less well in English. Maybe the secret is to break it up, and certainly to read it in the context of verses 18-26. But there is much spiritual and practical encouragement we can draw from these two verses above.
“Despite Adversity and Affliction...”
Adversity and affliction are quite personal things. It may be difficult to stomach when we read Scripture like this, which suggests that adversity and affliction are part of our divine designate. Yet we know, by the manner of our lives, that we will have adversity as the bread we eat and affliction as the water we drink. Not that these are actual sustenance. But adversity and affliction do run with us, for better or worse, our entire lives.
And despite this fact we are blessed by the fact of the Teacher’s Spiritual Presence.
Adding these two facts together—our adversity and affliction, together with the Teacher’s Spiritual Presence—and we find cause for resilience; to prosper via thriving. Despite adversity and affliction we can thrive because the Lord (our Teacher) is with us.
We can thrive because having God with us gives us reason for hope during adversity and joy during affliction. We have ways for enduring; that is reason for hope and joy.
“... The Teacher Is with You”
The Teacher is our Saviour. He is behind us, urging us on, even as we endure our adversity and affliction. God is with his holy nation, and each saint who bears the Christ identification.
Wherever we walk, and whatever we do, our Teacher is with us; never to berate us for the things we do wrong; our Lord is for us and never against us; but gently goading us to worship him through the truthful conciliation of our deeds.
Our Teacher is Divine by both reality and mechanism of ministry. Our Teacher dwells within us spiritually, and we are taught as if by a perfect teacher who knows exactly how to encourage us in our adversity and affliction.
Despite any negative schooling experiences, this Teacher of ours is absolutely trustworthy; a Mentor of the Ages.
Our Teacher will get us through our bread of adversity and water of affliction. And though life can appear defeating at times, God stands there to remind us—“I AM with you, to the very end of the age!” No matter where we go or what we do, God, our Teacher, is eternally present.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

No comments: