2 Samuel 22:7 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears.
Probably the biggest reason God allows difficult situations in our lives is to get us to cry out to Him. When life seems to be easy street, we don’t recognize that we need Him. He’s kind of like air: we aren’t conscious of it until it is in short supply. Scuba divers are extremely aware of air because they have to carry their own supply with them. We can’t “bottle” God, but He’s even more essential to our existence than air is. The better we grasp that, the more peace, joy, and success we will have in life. One of the many wonderful things about God is that He isn’t stingy with Himself; He listens to His children and makes Himself available to them. The devil does all he can to spread lies about God, because the better we know Him, the closer we will walk with Him and the more obedient to Him we will be. Quite a few years ago there was a romantic pop song that went, “To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him, and I do.” That certainly applies to God! More recently, the Gaithers put out a song about God that proclaims, “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.” That’s true too! The whole thing is, when we don’t know we need Him, we don’t seek Him, and so aren’t likely to discover how wonderful He is. It’s not that He hasn’t given us plenty of evidence about Himself, (Romans 1:20) it’s just that we get so self-centered that we can’t see it, or even think that He exists because of us. Those who accuse others of creating God in their image actually have a point, but then they turn around and claim that He doesn’t exist at all, and so declare their own bias. God is there, and He loves us, but we have to choose to turn to Him and seek him, in humble obedience.
This is the underlying reality of my life, but then it is for every person alive, whether or not they realize it. I have dedicated my life to helping people recognize this reality. My greatest joy is when people do turn to God and open their hearts to Him, and my greatest sorrow is when they steadfastly refuse to do so. In my experience the latter has been more common than the former, but I must never give up. I have had people ask me, sometimes even with anger, why I insist on “pushing my religion on Japanese who already have their religions.” I always answer that I would be the stingiest of misers if I had such a great treasure and failed to share it with others, especially when doing so in no way diminishes my share. When I am convinced, both from Scripture and from experience, that God is real and that He loves us, and that Jesus Christ is the only way to a right relationship with Him, then how can I not tell others about Him?
Father, thank You for this reminder. Sometimes I need it! Thank You for all You are doing in and around us in these days. Keep me from trying to make things happen on my own, but help me hear You accurately and obey You immediately in all that You have for me to do, so that all of Your plans may be fulfilled and many brought from death to life, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!