Handling Adversity ~ DAY 19

The author has given us a serious exhortation in the preceding verses to continually place our faith in the Lord.  We must hold firmly to our confidence and hope, especially when these are being tested during times of adversity.

As we move into this next section, beginning in 3:7, we are told today to listen as God speaks.  This ties us back to the previous section in this way:  faith is all about responding positively to God when He reveals or manifests Himself to us in anyway.  God’s revelation always demands a response.  So, the way to build and increase our faith is by continually saying “yes, Lord” when He speaks to us.

“Today” is a key word.  It is an urgent reminder that God doesn’t just speak to us on occasion but each and every day.  So, at this very time, the present moment, God may be speaking to you.  Let’s never forget that today is the only time we know we have.  We have no promise of tomorrow.  God will speak to us today.  How will we respond?

Another key word here is “listen.”  We could all use lessons on becoming better listeners.  As believers in Jesus Christ, we must be able to recognize His voice in our lives.  Because of Who He is, the Lord of glory, we should be listening for His voice to break into our lives above all other voices.  Think of a mother who, in the midst of the noise of a busy household, can hear her baby’s cry.  How can she do this?  It is because she is tuned into the frequency of the sound of her baby.  We, as followers of Jesus Christ, need to develop that ability when it comes to hearing the voice of our Shepherd.  You see, Jesus wants to encourage, comfort, reassure, and strengthen His people each and every day.  But, if we are not tuning into His voice, we will miss the help He desires to give us.

Listening is also a matter of the will.  That’s why the author continues exhorting those who will read these words not to harden their hearts.  Listening isn’t just something we do with our heads but with our hearts.  If our heart is open to the One who is speaking, and if there is great love and affection for Him as well, then our ears will perk up and our hearts will be open to hearing what He has to say.  God is always trying to get through to us.  That means we must always be listening. 

(1 Samuel 3:10)