Divine visitation in adversity: Lenten meditation- Part 3
One season of life in which divine visitation is most needed is in times of adversity, and yet at no time are we more likely to miss it than such times. When we feel overwhelmed by our situation that we think we are abandoned by God, we tend to turn away from Him. Yet, we have great examples in Scripture to guide us into divine visitation, even in times of adversity. We will again let the Bible speak here. At the time that the Prophet Elijah was so frightened and discouraged by Jezebel’s threat to take his life, he asked the Lord to do it instead. God led him to a place of the encounter recorded for us in 1 Kings 19:9–11.
Another instance is the prayer of Isaiah in Isaiah 64:1–2. This prayer of Isaiah (who also saw visions of the Lord when King Uzziah under whom he served had died) is well suited to us in the times we wonder if God is still around. We must yearn for God, rather than throw our hands up in despair and hopelessness. The times in our country- both in Church and Society – confront us with unusual occurrences that make us wonder where God is. Yet we should recall that when God’s people found themselves in exile, there were those who kept their hope in God alive. While many lamented about closed Heavens, it was a different story for Prophet Ezekiel, even in the humiliation of exile, saw visions of God in opened heavens (Ezek. 1:1).
Daniel and his friends faced challenges that put their lives on the line. When the three Hebrew young men would not bow to the image set up by the king, the only option was to be thrown into the fiery furnace and the Lord visited them in the fire (Dan. 3:23-25). See also Daniel’s testimony in 6:21–22. They took a stand for the Lord their God, even in times of adversity, and the Lord did not leave them. This must have been to them a literal fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 43:2–3: “when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.” God may not spare us from times of adversity, but His promises cannot fail. He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (See Josh 1:5; Ps. 37:25; 2Cor 4:9 Heb. 13:5).
This song by Kittie L. Suffield always comes to mind about subjects like this:
God is still on the throne, And He will remember His own;
Though trials may press us and burdens distress us, He never will leave us alone;
God is still on the throne, He never forsaketh His own;
His promise is true, He will not forget you, God is still on the throne.
One last example is that of John on the Island of Patmos. Exiled to that desolate place for his testimony for Christ, he records a glorious vision in Revelation 1:9–11.
Yes, God stays close and visits us, even in adversity to give us songs in the night till the day dawns, when He will wipe all tears from our eyes, according to Rev 21:4.
May God keep us steadfast.
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