Journal Entry ~ 11/12/17

40 he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; 41 but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks.  - Psalm 107:40-41

These last few verses in Psalm 107 remind us that God uses adversity to bring about His purposes in our lives. He is just and He will deliberately send challenges into our paths to get our attention. Why?  Because we don’t listen when things are going smoothly, we don’t hear Him when our lives are comfortable. C. S. Lewis captures this with his memorable quote: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our consciences, but shouts at us in our pain. Pain is his megaphone to reach a deaf world."

When life is going well in those seasons we seem to be experiencing His blessings, we often begin to wander. We grow confident in our ability to manage life, we grow wise in our own eyes, and we become increasingly focused on satisfying our own needs. God knows His Word is life to us, and the reality is many of us only turn to His Word when desperate times come. He wants us there all the time, so He sends us trials to bring us back to the truths in His Word.

And, as these verses remind us, when we come back to Him, we find prosperity. God blesses us with abundance and strength as we return to fellowship with Him. He satisfies the desires of our heart, He protects and shelters us, and He fills us with good things. In these verses, He demonstrates that He uses both adversity and prosperity to bring about His perfect will in our lives. 

God uses these times of adversity and prosperity to grow our trust and faith in Him. We come to understand that loving a just God means we can trust him without hesitation when we are walking through times of unjust. We can know He will reign. The truth will prevail. We will fear no evil because we know that God is just and in His perfect timing, the truth will be known. 

We’ve all been in the frustrating and challenging place of facing false accusations.  Perhaps a family member makes an unfair assumption, a co-worker spreads gossip, or you may have even faced charges for a crime you didn’t commit. Knowing His truths in these moments is critical to our response.  Our God is a just God who’s truth will be proclaimed, but He is also a God who will allow adversity into our lives to reveal His power to us. Years ago, I found myself facing criminal charges from an accusation by a young boy who was hurting because he was suffering in an abusive relationship. At the time, I was unaware of his abuse - I hardly even knew the boy, having only one interaction with him prior to the phone call from DCFS. I was devastated by the false accusations, and in the moment could not imagine why God would allow me to endure such a trial. I was already weakened from a difficult miscarriage only a week before the accusations, the challenge at the time seemed to great for me to handle. But God allowed that adversity for multiple reasons - for the boy, He clearly wanted to bring justice to his life by rescuing him from the tragic abuse he was enduring. For me, He wanted to take me to the end of myself and my ability to control or fix a problem, and He wanted to demonstrate He is just and He is faithful to reveal His truth. During the 6 week investigation that involved my children and husband, I had no choice but to completely trust in the fact that God knew the truth, and He would prevail. It was a humbling experience, but God grew my faith in those weeks in ways He could not have grown me had He not allowed such adversity into my life. God brought me to such a beautiful place of prosperity in my fellowship with Him during those 6 weeks that it radically changed our relationship going forward. 

As you grow in fellowship with God, you can see both of these at work in your life, and you begin to accept them with peace. God uses adversity and prosperity to accomplish His work in our lives. My story is a story of countless examples of God using both to transform me into who He wants me to be, and this current trial is no different. The beauty is once you get to a place of understanding how He will use both in your life, you fear the adversity less. Neither adversity nor prosperity rattles you because you understand it’s all part of God’s greater plan for your life. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. - Philippians 4:11-12

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:

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