May no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, His name will continue to resound throughout the world."
Wow! That's a loaded blessing that I need and eagerly want to embrace for myself, don't you? I found it on Facebook quoted from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Adversities can paralyze and immobilize me. Sudden storms can strike fear into my heart. Whether they are present storms of various things of this world—relational, physical, financial, mental anguish, or clusters of calamities all at once, they can destroy my peace. My weakness and lack of control pin me to the mat. If the catastrophe might be undeserved, (1 Peter 2:20) my equilibrium is shattered. I'm off balance and can't think straight. But I must think clearly and Scripturally and act obediently.
I can have no other spiritual response than to trust God and not demand to understand the whys of the situation. I someone else might be involved, I must not blame or take revenge—rendering justice in His time is God's business, not mine. I must remain faithful, steadfast, unmovable and continue living for the Lord and serving Him without complaint or whining. I must keep pressing on and giving thanks to God not for this adversity but while I am still in it. I must resist bitterness, resentment, and anger or it will devour me.
Is my faith real or am I a fair weather Christian at this advanced calendar season of my life? I must be aware of the “cloud of witnesses” in the Heavenlies, those who have already won the race, received the Gold Medal, and who are praying for me and cheering me on. And I must always be conscious of my responsibility to respond as God's obedient child before other “clouds of witnesses” who watch me here on earth at this moment in history that God has allowed me to live.
I shall then rest humbly in the providence of God. I won't push Him to see me through this present storm in some way I can devise. I'm in a tunnel and there is a way out. There is a Light at the end of this tunnel. I will wait on God's timing. He has a “due time” and is working on me and “working all things together for good.” (Romans 8:28)
As the renowned “Protestant saint” Dr. Andrew Murray counseled someone a century ago who was going through a storm, “In time of trouble say: I am here—By God's appointment, In His keeping, Under His training, For His time.” God has never failed me yet. Has He ever failed you?
Without a doubt, God's purpose for whatever you or I are going through when we are in stormy weather, is “that by your faith His name will continue to resound throughout the world.”
Thank you for the reminder, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!