Viewpoint from Mike Clarry for 16th August 2013
Elder for the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Burnt Lane, Gorleston
When the Going Gets Tough, Remember You’re Not Alone!
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 2 Kings 6:16 NLT.
During the ninth century BC, The Arameans were continually waging war against The Israelites (The children of God) however; every effort they made and every attack they launched came to nothing! It was as if the Israelites were one-step ahead of them every time. The truth being, they were! The Israelites were God’s special people and He was protecting them – when God is on your side, who then can stand against you! The Almighty God, The God of al ages, was continually directing His people to safety and out of harms way from the Arameans through His servant, the Prophet Elisha.
The Bible reveals that the Arameans eventually realised what was happening, so they devised a plan to capture the Prophet Elisha and ‘silence’ him, thus hoping to ensure a successful defeat of the Israelites. After locating his whereabouts, a large battalion surrounded the little city of Dothan at night, hoping to capture The Servant of God at first light! Early next morning Elisha’s servant got up and went outside, and to his utter horror, he faced heavily armed troops, horses and chariots everywhere! The scene was most terrifying, there appeared to be no possible routes of escape. To Elisha’s servant, certain death appeared to be their only fate that day! Nevertheless, amazingly, Elisha calmly said, “Don’t be afraid, for there are more on our side than theirs!”
To say something like that, in an extreme situation as the one described above, takes more than just mere courage and faith. Superficially, it appears that Elisha is deluded and was trying to saying that the two of them combined, outnumbered the entire regiment of trained soldiers! But was the Prophet deluded, or did he know something about Someone that his servant didn’t? And what can we learn from this?
So, what gave Elisha this assured confidence; and if he had such assured confidence in this extreme situation, can we have assured confidence in our difficulties, trials, and sicknesses that this world so harshly places upon our shoulders? The answer, dear friends is simple, and most applicable to everyone. Yes! – because Elisha had a very close and personal relationship with The Almighty God. He knew and trusted that God would take care of them. Although the situation seemed bad, he knew it would end well. He knew that in reality they weren’t alone, because God was with them!
Oh how suddenly can one’s comfortable life change for the worse due to challenging circumstances, be it sudden (chronic) illness, injury or debt. The Bible warns us that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), so frankly we can expect problems and unwanted calamities. The Bible does not promise life on Earth to be easy, prior to the second coming of Christ; but It does promise that the overwhelming love of God surrounds everyone in every circumstance – especially the individuals that have a personal relationship with Him! If you are experiencing difficulty in any way, and feel that The Lord is nowhere to be found, why don’t you kneel down and ask God to help you to see His way of getting through your problem. Ask God to help you to have a closer relationship with Him, so that you also can experience that assured confidence that come what may, you can always know that He loves you with a love that is so great, that we cannot fully understand!
As Elisha’s servant looked at the terrifying soldiers and wondered what Elisha meant by saying they were more than them, Elisha prayed and The Lord of Heavens Armies, opened the eyes of the Prophets servant, and The Bible records that the young man “saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire” 2 Kings 6:17
Be of good cheer dear friends, when the going gets tough, remember you’re not alone! The Lord is with those who call upon His wonderful name! I pray that you will have a wonderful day!