by Hazel Straub
When life is cold and stormy, relationships tested and fraying, betrayed, do you despair or see these circumstances as opportunities? Two people can face the same challenges but view them completely differently. One despairs, loses heart, grows bitter feeling victimized, throws a self-pity party and shakes their fists in frustration. They relied on their own wit, strength and strategies, without success. The other one looks and sees the stage set for major change, due to God’s intervention. This one, dies to their flesh, pride, and independent ways. Instead they envision troubles as an opportunity and expect God to shine and get the glory. It is at the darkest hour that they see how only God can deal with the insurmountable problems, healing, restoring, and bringing new life.
Troubles are the catalyst for personal, family, church, city and national new life. Restoration and revival happen when God’s people unite in humbling themselves, change their minds and turn away from their sins, cry out to God for mercy and seek him with all their hearts, putting him first. Your response brings either life or death.
“If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.” (2 Chronicles 7:13–14 MSG)
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