When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.Ecclesiastes 7:14
Prosperity and adversity both come from God's hands; a wise Father's heart has given them to you. In the words of the hymn,
Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
God has given all events to us, the Searcher declares. We must then learn to accept and understand that God has chosen these for us out of love and wisdom. They have a special purpose. God has designed life to be full of the unexpected so that we might realize that we do not control our future.
We are not in charge of life. The great satanic lie that subtly comes at us a thousand times a day is that we are gods, we are in charge, we can plan, we can direct, we can control. Because within the freedom of will that God has granted us there appears some truth to that, we easily believe the rest--that we are in ultimate control of everything. But the lesson of the Scripture, driven home again and again, is that that is not true. God is in charge. What He sends us is always designed to benefit. This is the clear teaching of the Scripture, both in the Old and the New Testament alike. Even though adversity may have painful aspects, we are to understand that it comes from a loving God and be grateful for it. An unknown poet has written,
When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man;
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part,
When he yearns with all his heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch his methods, watch his ways—
How he ruthlessly perfects
Whom he royally elects.
How he hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows, converts him
Into trial shapes of clay
Which only God understands.
While his tortured heart is crying,
And he lifts beseeching hands.
How he bends but never breaks
When his good he undertakes.
How he uses Whom he chooses,
And with every purpose, fuses him,
By every act, induces him
To try his splendor out.
God knows what he's about.
Father, I see that all things come from Your hand. Thank You that I can trust that even when I feel hammered and hurt, You are shaping me into a vessel of beauty and honor.
Life is full of the adversity. Does this make us anxious or fearful? Have we discovered and trusted God's wisdom and love or do we try to control our future?