Trusting during adversity

There is one petit four that I have been eyeing this past month. (Yes: this means that my missing blue box has resurfaced at last! It was at the very bottom of one of our large moving boxes, hidden under many other bits and pieces.) I’ve scrutinized this particular petit four from all sides, because it seems too good to be true. It offers the delightful flavors of hope and assurance. But I’ve been hesitating to add it to our plate of petit fours because we may not taste its sweetness immediately.

This is a petit four for when life is tough. It says:

Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright. Psalm 112:4 (NIV)

Perhaps at this moment your life is filled with adversity, and you can see no end to the difficulties of a situation, or with a relationship. Life can seem like a long, dark, stormy night. That night and its hardship can seem never-ending, but God promises to those who are right with him that relief will most certainly come. This is as definite as the arrival of dawn.

Still I hesitate as I write these words, because I know that relief can be a long time in coming. And it is while we are bogged down in difficulties, unable to see even a glimmer of respite, that we tend to doubt God’s promise of deliverance. We question God’s word, or think it doesn’t apply to us. The word even in the NIV translation of Psalm 112:4 draws attention to the improbability we feel that this promise will come true, that we will come out on the other side of our adversity. But even also emphasizes the astounding actuality we sense when this promise comes to fruition during the most difficult of circumstances.

When we are living in darkness, we must hold on to this petit four’s promise that relief will arrive. When we fear the darkness, we must hold on to this promise to give us courage. Psalm 112:7 (NIV) says that those who trust in God’s promise will have no fear of bad news because their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Steadfast is an old-fashioned word, but I like the way it portrays so clearly what we must do when life is challenging. We are to remain steady, constantly trusting God. Your trust may feel shaky, but God’s promise is firm and stable. Hebrews 6 tells us that God is serious about keeping his promises. Be assured that as you hope in God, light will come and dispel your nighttime.

While on vacation in Monument Valley, Utah, my family got up early one morning while it was still dark to watch the sun rise. Watch this video we took, and let it be a reminder to you of God’s promise that even in darkness, light dawns for the upright.

Click here for an exercise to help guide your prayer as you talk to God about trusting him in the midst of adversity. The exercise is also available in a handy, condensed format for you to print out and use during your prayer time.

Posted in Devotional blog

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