Our message series is called “Follow God’s Heart.” We are studying the life of David, whom the Bible calls a man after God’s heart. We want to learn to follow God’s heart also. To follow God’s heart is to follow His plan and purpose for our lives.
Following God’s heart does not mean that life will be easy.God allows adversity and trials of all kinds to come into our lives. Today, our message is entitled “Patience in Adversity.” How should you respond to adversity? Often, like the children of Israel, we are tempted to grumble and complain. We may get down or discouraged. But those reactions are not how you should respond to adversity.
James 1:2-3 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
The trials that come into our lives are not random events. In fact, the Bible teaches us that God only allows trials to come into our lives that will help us grow spiritually. These verse in James 1 show us that trials are a way that God tests our faith.
What happens when you face a trial that is a test? You can either pass or fail the test. God wants you to pass the test by trusting in God. The end result when you pass the testing of your faith is that you grow in steadfastness or patience. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit that comes as we rely on God’s help in the midst of a trial.
So, now that we better understand the purpose of adversity or trials, how should you respond? James tells us that we should count it all joy. The NLT translation says that you should consider it [the trial] an opportunity for great joy. We rejoice because God is going to use that trial to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him.
Sometimes, trials are not just a one and done deal. Sometimes trials are ongoing circumstances. We may respond with joy at the beginning, but the trial begins to weigh us down.
Galatians 6:9 (ESV) And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
The Bible instructs us to not grow weary in patiently trusting God in the midst of adversity. We mustn’t give up on God bringing us through. For, in God’s timing, we will reap a harvest of blessing. Patience in adversity leads to blessing in your life.
Today, we pick up the story of David from last Sunday. David had been anointed to be the next king by the prophet Samuel. However, King Saul was still on the throne and was drifting farther and farther from God. David was still working in the kings’ court as we begin today. Today, we’re going to learn some principles on responding to adversity from David’s life.