No matter our circumstances, God responds when we turn to Him. When we are in a right relationship with Him and walking in obedience and submission, He determines the limits of our trials and suffering. This doesn’t mean He’ll remove all pain and trouble from our lives, but He guards us through it. And even if we lose our lives, He promises that we will immediately be in His presence (2 Cor. 5:8).
He is also available to us. Nothing is beyond His control, and He is ready to hear our concerns and requests when we come to Him in prayer. Whatever our needs may be, He has provided assurances and promises in His Word. “The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven” (Ps. 11:4).
In addition, we must remember that God sees everything. “His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked” (vv. 4-5). From His divine perspective, He sees and knows everything, and He uses our trials to test us. We have no reason to fear evil because we are secure in our relationship with the Lord. He hates violence, and promises that one day He will punish the wicked (vv. 5-6).
With all this in mind, what attitude should God’s people have during tough times? Let’s consider these four acts that will reveal our faith:
We must trust the Lord. No matter what our circumstances may be, we can believe God. It may seem as if He’s inactive, but He’s not. When situations get worse, He is not sitting in heaven wringing His hands. The Lord rejoices in the opportunity to intervene and show Himself strong for His children. Therefore, instead of running away, we should learn to wait upon the Lord and seek His direction.
We must ask God for cleansing. When the foundations around us crumble, it’s time to look within ourselves, asking the Lord to reveal any sin in our lives. Then we must confess it and repent by making a determined choice to turn away from that sin and to the Lord. If we don’t deal with our sins, they will hinder our prayers. Only after our lives have been cleansed will He be able to use us in whatever ways He chooses.
We must be willing to encourage others. People who don’t know Christ become frightened when the foundations around them crumble and circumstances become difficult. They look for ways to protect themselves, but we can encourage them to look to the Lord, who is the only true source of security. He will show Himself strong to those who are willing to trust Him. As believers, we have a responsibility to share the teachings of God’s Word.
We must pray for revival. The difficult times we face are larger than our own issues; our entire country is in trouble. The solution is not found in voting new candidates into office, but in pleading with God to send a revival. According to history, revivals always begin with just a few people who humbly seek the Lord. If we’ll sincerely turn away from sin and to God, a handful of individuals could become a crowd joining together to cry out to the Lord for our country.
As our society continues to abandon its former foundation, the last thing we should do is give up hope. Instead, our country needs people committed to interceding for our nation and asking God to revive His church. God is listening, and He will respond to His people’s repentance and petitions for help.
This article was originally published on June 4, 2017, and is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message “If the Foundations Are Destroyed” which aired this weekend on TV.