June 8 I Monday
2 Chronicles 30-31
“How long, LORD? Will You forget me for ever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” —Psalm 13:1-2
Many people have struggled with hardship and despair to the point where they feel utterly depleted and helpless. At the reading of this devotion, some of us may even be going through a trial in our life. We may be praying constantly about our circumstances, situations or problems, but week after week, nothing changes. We cannot detect the fingerprints of God taking place in our lives and we feel hurt in those circumstances, tempted to deduce that God is absent and somehow has forgotten about us. But that could not be further from the truth.
We have an understanding God, as Hebrews 4:14-15 says, “Since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way…”
God knows our struggles. At His discretion, He will use them so that in our humility and weakness, we can be made strong in His power. If we understand how God works in this way, our dependence upon Him is reinforced, and whatever plagues us becomes a means for God to draw us near. It provides a highway for Him to navigate His way and lead us to where we truly discover His power, His grace and His sufficiency.
When we are flat on our backs, the only place we can look is up. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah writes, “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name” (Isaiah 45:3, NASB). The verse was written in a time when, as far as the nation of Israel was concerned, all the lights had gone out because they were dragged into exile by the Babylonians. The Israelites had no idea where God was in their circumstances but God reassured them that He would give them, “treasures of darkness.”
Why? Because sometimes, it is in the sphere of darkness where God is at work in our lives, even though it is not always open, clear and obvious. But in retrospect, maybe even some years later, we will see and realize those moments were some of the times when the best work took place in our lives and we grew the most. May we embrace whatever trial we are going through, holding fast to our faith and dependence on God, and see it as “treasures of darkness.”
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your presence always, but especially in the difficult times. I know I can always depend on You. You are my strength and refuge in whom I can find rest. Praise You!