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STRENGTH IN ADVERSITY

APRIL 16, 2 Samuel 16:5-12

David left Jerusalem in a haste, escaping the wrath and evil plotting of his son Absalom. Although he knew what his son did was wrong, he accepted it as the will of God for he had sinned against God. As his entourage travelled down in the fierce heat of the Jordan valley, a ruthless accuser suddenly appeared on the rocky slopes above them. Shimei shouted at the king, hurled abuses at him and even threw stones at the king. David’s followers like Abishai wanted to take action against him but the king would have none of it. “Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him.” As he suffered, David looked to the Lord to have mercy on him. He did not blame anyone. He knew that God was with him even in the midst of his sorrows. This is strength in adversity!

What was David’s strength based on? He had to learn the painful lesson that he cannot rely on himself, and can only depend on God. David was the most powerful man in the land, and yet he could not save himself. He realized that real strength is dependence on the Lord. He knew he had failed in the past because he had perhaps gloried in self-confidence, in his power, in his empire. That is why he took time off battle, eventually leading him to see Bathsheba, to lust after her, which then started the chain of sinful and painful events in his family. Now that he was being ousted by his son, he knew it was his own fault. He blamed no one, for he knew he brought it upon himself.

Whether adversity is our doing or otherwise, the key thing is to commit ourselves to the Lord. We do not need to learn it the hard way King David did. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and come what may, He will see us through.

 

Thought: Strength in adversity is dependence on God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep me trusting in You even though I may face adversity. Teach me not to just want happiness and good times from You, but to be able to accept difficulties and trouble when You think it is useful for me to learn from them. I know it is not easy to withstand such problems, so to Jesus I will cling, and in Jesus' name I pray, Amen.