Adversity and Humility
“So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full—then beware, lest you forget the Lord. . . .” - (Deuteronomy 6:10–12)
In his book, The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
We talk about the problem of pain, but let’s talk about the problem of prosperity. Prosperity brings responsibility, because we are not owners; we are stewards. Everything God gives to us is a gift, and we will be held responsible for what we do with the resources that are at our disposal. Therefore, we want to make sure that we remain dependent on God.
When life gets really hard and adversity hits, we pray—and so we should. But sometimes when life is going reasonably well, we sort of forget about prayer. In Acts 12, we read that when James was beheaded and Peter was put in prison, the church prayed—and they prayed with desperation, because they knew that if God didn’t come through, there was no other hope.
The psalmist wrote, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Psalm 119:67).
God gave this warning to Israel before they entered the Promised Land and began enjoying all its blessings: “When you have eaten and are full—then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage” (Deuteronomy 6:11–12).
Adversity levels us and keeps us humble, while prosperity tends to make us proud and self-sufficient. We don’t think we need God when we’re in good health or have a wallet full of credit cards or a lot of money in the bank. But when an economy goes south or the doctor has bad news, we turn to God, because we are reminded of what really matters.
Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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