Days Of Prosperity And Adversity

July 23, 2012

 Days of Prosperity and Adversity

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.”  (Ecclesiastes 7:14).

No one is fortunate enough to live without some days of adversity.  Some have more of them than others.   When they come, we are prone to ask why.  We seek an explanation.  Some blame the government and the corrupt politicians who abuse their power and live in luxury at the expense of the tax payers.  To a certain extent, they may be right, but we need to remind ourselves that our politicians are chosen by elections.

We need to ask ourselves;  “Isn’t it true that God has his hand in our adversities?”  Some say, “No, because God is kind, all wise and all powerful.  He wouldn’t permit adversities.” The Bible doesn’t uphold that way of thinking.  It’s true that God is kind, all wise and all powerful, but our text says that he makes both the days of prosperity and the days of adversity.

For some, it’s hard to believe that God would do anything that wasn’t for our good.  Isaiah 45:7 says “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.  At the bottom of the page where this verse is found in my Bible there is a note that explains that the word “evil” is the Hebrew word “ra” which can be translated “wretchedness,” ”adversity.” “affliction”  or “calamity.”  It is never translated “sin.”  God created evil only in the sense that he made sorrow or wretchedness to be the sure fruit of sin.

God has an abundance of ways to chastise, correct and control people.  More than once I have heard people testify to the fact that, in their youth, God sent a calamity that he used to rescue them from a life of rebellion and sin.  At the moment it seemed like a tragedy, but in the end God used it for good.  II Corinthians 7:10 says “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

If God uses adversity to correct and control a person, why can’t he use it to correct and control a group or a nation?  We should take into consideration the fact that the ways of God are higher than our ways and our thoughts are much inferior to the thoughts of God.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. “

If God lets a country fall into a crisis it is with a good reason.  Many are then forced to humble themselves and seek God.  The Christian worker finds people are more docile and willing to listen  and accept spiritual truth when they are going through a crisis.

We often suffer because of the sins of others.  When we sin those around us suffer.  We aren’t always to blame for the adversity we suffer.  It may be because of corruption in the government.  We may be the victims of a crime.  Some say “It isn’t fair.” They are right, but God can use even the sins of others to accomplish his purpose.  To be sure, the sinner will be punished.

Instead of having a fit of anger towards the one who caused the adversity, or towards God, we ought to ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this?” Ecclesiastes 7:14 says that we should consider in the day of adversity.  That means to muse or meditate.  There may be something for us to learn from it.  The days come and go.  We know not whether they will be days of prosperity or days of adversity.  In John 15:5 Jesus said “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”  In days of prosperity we are inclined to think that we can do all by our own strength, without the help of God.

Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” When we are in days of prosperity, it’s almost certain that there will be some around us who are in days of adversity.  If possible, we should be ready and willing to help them.   In our days of adversity  we will need and appreciate the help of others.

Days of adversity bring us closer to God.  We learn what it is to ask God for our daily bread.  We are left with a closer relationship with God.  They are days to prove our souls.  In Job 23:10 we find the promise that “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

Yes, days of adversity may be difficult, but, at the same time, they can be for our good if we don’t faint and lose faith and patience with God. (Galatians 6:9)  Are you in a day of adversity?  Psalm 94:12-14 promises a day of rest.  “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;    That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.    For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.”


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