Monday 7 October, 2019
Knowing God in distress
“And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. The Manasseh knew that the LORD was God” (2 Chronicles 33:12-13, ESV)
Whereas distress and desperation are very undesirable moments, they often offer to us opportunities to draw to God and even know him more. Charles H. Spurgeon shares with us his experience of knowing God while in distress: “I am certain that I never did grow in grace one-half so much anywhere as I have upon the bed of pain.”
It is possible to let go pain and let God reign in our hearts. In our distress, when we turn to God, he will forgive us if we have sinned against him and restore us back to him.
The young king Manasseh of Jerusalem experienced the unfailing mercy of God in his life. Manasseh was described by the Chronicler as an evil king. He did “evil in the sight of the LORD” that the “LORD brought upon them [Israel] the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh… and brought him to Babylon.” God had put Manasseh in a distressful situation. Fortunately, Manasseh realized his departure from God and prayed to God for favor.
In his distress, the LORD was “moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.” Manasseh, the king who did what was evil in the sight of the LORD knew God while in distress. God pushed him into the University of Distress such that he may know Him. Are you in distress? I entreat you to seek God; he is compassionate, able to restore you. He is willing to heal you, to restore your business, and turn your mourning into dancing. I invite you to turn to God, know that the LORD is God. It does not matter whether your distress is as a result of turning away from God; he still calls you to him.
When you turn to God with a sincere heart, God’s heart will sincerely be turned to you. Do not let your distress drive you away from God eternally. You have the responsibility to “humble yourself greatly before the God” who saves.
Prayer: In my distress, I will wait patiently and cry to you O Lord, for you will hear my cry. When in distress, draw me close to you that I may know that you are God. Amen!
Rev. Julius I. Tabi is a Dean of Students’ Affairs at Uganda Christian University Arua Campus. He is an ordained minister in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile (Church of Uganda) and serves as chaplain at Ushindi Secondary School in Arua. Julius is a student of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology of Uganda Christian University. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at MF Norwegian School of Theology. Prior to his pastoral training, Julius trained as a high school Biology and Chemistry teacher. You may reach him by completing the form below.