It is often in adversity our true colors show. It’s like that old illustration of the glass of water. When the glass is full and it is shaken, what pours out? If we are full of the Holy Spirit and shaken you will often see blessing, peace, good works under adversity pour out. But if we are full of sin, you will often notice anger, frustration, selfishness and fear. So what are others seeing “pour out of you” during this season? Hard truth, hard questions, but remember, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. For Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it. (John 3:17) However, the Bible also says that whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13). And who could use a little bit of mercy right about now? (my hand is raised).
Therefore let’s take a listen to James: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:7-10)
I hear the Spirit encouraging me first to submit myself to God. That prayer may sound something like this “Lord, forgive me. I have been thinking too much about myself. I fully submit my life, my day, this hour to you.” (2) Purify my heart. “Lord, these are the areas of my life that have consumed me….. I am grateful and overwhelmingly thankful for…. (3) Grieve, mourn and wail. “Lord, I am grieving…. Hear my heart and the pain in it and may it echo yours.” If you don’t have anything to grieve then grieve with someone else. Find someone who has COVID19 and struggling for their life, someone who lost their job, a particular nurse, doctor, first responder and get the details! Come alongside others that are suffering and enter in that suffering. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2) By doing all of this: submitting to the Lord, purifying your heart, grieve and mourn, you can’t help but be humbled.
Most people will agree that in difficult seasons of life we find ourselves closer to the Lord and when “things are going well” we are not. Here’s a challenge, make life ALWAYS a difficult season. I am not saying put yourself in constant difficulty but in actuality I am. You cannot control your life circumstances however you can control which life circumstances you engage in. There are times when things may be “just fine” in your life but I promise you it is not that way for everyone you know. Enter into their tough stuff. Don’t shut off or ignore the news. Really listen and ask more questions when people are asking for prayer. Pray for opportunities to serve and comfort others. “Putting your head in the sand” maybe fine for a short time, but if your head is in the sand make sure you are on your knees too.