Don’t Waste Your Adversities

  • August 10, 2015
Monday 10

James 1:2-4

Are you wasting your troubles? Any time God allows trials to enter your life, He has a purpose for them. He wants you to squeeze out every ounce of spiritual growth instead of letting difficulties force you into despair and discouragement. If you’ll just respond in the right manner, the trial that looks as if it could destroy you becomes an instrument of blessing.

The most natural response to adversity is to groan and plead with the Lord to remove it. If that doesn’t work, we might get angry or try to find our own way out of the difficulty or pain. Sometimes we resort to blaming others for the trouble. And in truth, someone else might have caused the problem, but ultimately God allowed it. No matter where affliction originates, who is involved, or how evil their intentions, by the time it reaches you, it’s been dipped in the Father’s love and shaped to accomplish His good purpose. The question is, will you cooperate with Him, or will you resist?

Perhaps the key word is found in verse 4 of today’s reading. God wants to use our trial to develop spiritual maturity, but unless you let it do its work, that opportunity will be lost. If we could foresee every benefit the Lord designed our trials to accomplish, maybe we’d be more cooperative.

Although we can’t see all the specifics of God’s plan, we know that His goal is to use our adversity to supply something we lack so we can be mature and complete. Even though the experience is painful, rest in the Father’s comforting arms, and let Him do His perfect work in you.

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 6-8

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2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin, From the midst of Jerusalem! Now blow a trumpet in Tekoa And raise a signal over Beth-haccerem; For evil looks down from the north, And a great destruction.

2 The comely and dainty one, the daughter of Zion, I will cut off.

3 Shepherds and their flocks will come to her, They will pitch their tents around her, They will pasture each in his place.

4 Prepare war against her; Arise, and let us attack at noon. Woe to us, for the day declines, For the shadows of the evening lengthen!

5 Arise, and let us attack by night And destroy her palaces!"

6 For thus says the LORD of hosts, Cut down her trees And cast up a siege against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, In whose midst there is only oppression.

7 As a well keeps its waters fresh, So she keeps fresh her wickedness. Violence and destruction are heard in her; Sickness and wounds are ever before Me.

8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, Or I shall be alienated from you, And make you a desolation, A land not inhabited."

9 Thus says the LORD of hosts, They will thoroughly glean as the vine the remnant of Israel; Pass your hand again like a grape gatherer Over the branches."

10 To whom shall I speak and give warning That they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed And they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the LORD has become a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.

11 But I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary with holding it in. Pour it out on the children in the street And on the gathering of young men together; For both husband and wife shall be taken, The aged and the very old.

12 Their houses shall be turned over to others, Their fields and their wives together; For I will stretch out My hand Against the inhabitants of the land," declares the LORD.

13 For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely.

14 They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, `Peace, peace,' But there is no peace.

15 Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They shall be cast down," says the LORD.

16 Thus says the LORD, Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, `We will not walk in it. '

17 And I set watchmen over you, saying, `Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, `We will not listen.'

18 Therefore hear, O nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them.

19 Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, The fruit of their plans, Because they have not listened to My words, And as for My law, they have rejected it also.

20 For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba And the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me."

21 Therefore, thus says the LORD, Behold, I am laying stumbling blocks before this people. And they will stumble against them, Fathers and sons together; Neighbor and friend will perish."

22 Thus says the LORD, Behold, a people is coming from the north land, And a great nation will be aroused from the remote parts of the earth.

23 They seize bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea, And they ride on horses, Arrayed as a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Zion!"

24 We have heard the report of it; Our hands are limp. Anguish has seized us, Pain as of a woman in childbirth.

25 Do not go out into the field And do not walk on the road, For the enemy has a sword, Terror is on every side.

26 O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth And roll in ashes; Mourn as for an only son, A lamentation most bitter. For suddenly the destroyer Will come upon us.

27 I have made you an assayer and a tester among My people, That you may know and assay their way."

28 All of them are stubbornly rebellious, Going about as a talebearer. They are bronze and iron; They, all of them, are corrupt.

29 The bellows blow fiercely, The lead is consumed by the fire; In vain the refining goes on, But the wicked are not separated.

30 They call them rejected silver, Because the LORD has rejected them.

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

2 Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house and proclaim there this word and say, `Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the LORD!'"

3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place.

4 Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, `This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.'

5 For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor,

6 if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin,

7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

8 Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail.

9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known,

10 then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, `We are delivered!'--that you may do all these abominations?

11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it, " declares the LORD.

12 But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel.

13 And now, because you have done all these things," declares the LORD, and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer,

14 therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.

15 I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim.

16 As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you.

17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me.

19 Do they spite Me?" declares the LORD. Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame?"

20 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched."

21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh.

22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.

23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, `Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.'

24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward.

25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them.

26 Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck; they did more evil than their fathers.

27 You shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you.

28 You shall say to them, `This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God or accept correction; truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.

29 Cut off your hair and cast it away, And take up a lamentation on the bare heights; For the LORD has rejected and forsaken The generation of His wrath.'

30 For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight," declares the LORD, they have set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it.

31 They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.

32 Therefore, behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place.

33 The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away.

34 Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin.

1 At that time," declares the LORD, they will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves.

2 They will spread them out to the sun, the moon and to all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served, and which they have gone after and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried; they will be as dung on the face of the ground.

3 And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the places to which I have driven them," declares the LORD of hosts.

4 You shall say to them, `Thus says the LORD, Do men fall and not get up again? Does one turn away and not repent?

5 Why then has this people, Jerusalem, Turned away in continual apostasy? They hold fast to deceit, They refuse to return.

6 I have listened and heard, They have spoken what is not right; No man repented of his wickedness, Saying, `What have I done?' Everyone turned to his course, Like a horse charging into the battle.

7 Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD.

8 How can you say, `We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us'? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie.

9 The wise men are put to shame, They are dismayed and caught; Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, And what kind of wisdom do they have?

10 Therefore I will give their wives to others, Their fields to new owners; Because from the least even to the greatest Everyone is greedy for gain; From the prophet even to the priest Everyone practices deceit.

11 They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, `Peace, peace,' But there is no peace.

12 Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They certainly were not ashamed, And they did not know how to blush; Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time of their punishment they shall be brought down," Says the LORD.

13 I will surely snatch them away," declares the LORD; There will be no grapes on the vine And no figs on the fig tree, And the leaf will wither; And what I have given them will pass away."'"

14 Why are we sitting still? Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities And let us perish there, Because the LORD our God has doomed us And given us poisoned water to drink, For we have sinned against the LORD.

15 We waited for peace, but no good came; For a time of healing, but behold, terror!

16 From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses; At the sound of the neighing of his stallions The whole land quakes; For they come and devour the land and its fullness, The city and its inhabitants.

17 For behold, I am sending serpents against you, Adders, for which there is no charm, And they will bite you," declares the LORD.

18 My sorrow is beyond healing, My heart is faint within me!

19 Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land: Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not within her?" Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?"

20 Harvest is past, summer is ended, And we are not saved."

21 For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken; I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?

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Publish Date November 21, 2017
Causes of Rebellion

Believers are not immune to the dangers of doubt and pride.

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