“And to Adam he said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, “You shall not eat of it,” cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’” Genesis 3:17-19
Since man’s earliest days, he toils each day with the struggles of life brought on by the ancient curse of Genesis 3. There God removed His unconstrained blessing from man and consigned him to days and years of toil just to procure daily bread. Many people look for a new start in life, or a perfect situation void of troubles. But they face repeated disappointments as they face the effects of life within a cursed world.
At this late hour in human history, we still witness the words of this curse each day as we confront the afflictions of life. But the advantage belongs to the enlightened child of God who understands why we struggle and what we need to do to overcome. The events that occurred in the Garden of Eden so many centuries ago will one day get reversed by God who will remove the curse (Revelation 22:3). Then and only then will we live and thrive in a perfect world where nature and man harmoniously live in complete cooperation.
Even in this life God did not remove all grace from man. Instead, man would live out his days in dependence on God who provides all good things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). The struggles brought to us each day remind us to place our hope and dependence on God and to ask Him for grace to overcome the troubles of the day. We do this through prayer, and here’s what we can pray for:
1.) Pray for grace to work through all the difficulties of life.
The Bible records example after example of godly warriors of the faith put to the test by forces aligned against them. They, too, would struggle with the earth and people opposed to their faith. Abraham travels to an uncertain land, but holds onto the promise of God. Isaac and Jacob experience the ups and downs of a life faced with blessings amid a cursed world. Moses leads the children of Israel to the brink of the Promised Land, but needs to rely on God each day just to survive. Joshua and David wage real battles and discover God’s provision in impossible situations. Each of these faithful warriors looked to God to provide the grace needed to accomplish His purposes.
2.) Pray that God will provide strength to live out our faith amid depressed and cynical people.
People today, and really in all ages, slip easily into depression and anxious thoughts over the very struggles of the day. God expects us children to not just survive, but to point others to Christ by the way we live. When others see us besieged by the inhospitable forces of man and nature, do they see the peace of God shining through our life? Or do they see the same look everyone else has, worry and frustration? Surely God wants us to not project defeat, but the promise of ultimate victory through Christ over all the privations of life. Yes life brings about disappointments and frustrations, but God more than makes up for this with His presence and joy. We need to radiate that joy to others.
3.) Pray that we do not react sinfully when faced with daily pressures.
Christians everywhere face the same pressures as others, perhaps even more, but we do not need to express our frustrations as the world does. Do you lash out at others when you get frustrated? How does that demonstrate confidence in God who has promised to provide all our needs (Philippians 4:19)? Pray for God’s grace to not react sinfully when tempted with mounting pressures and difficulties. Truly God has grace to give you in your hour of need.
Finally, remember the example of Jesus who toiled above all others, yet without sin. He forever set the supreme example by trusting in the Father’s provision for Him. Look to Him (Hebrews 12:2) who provides all things necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
Posted on Fri, June 6, 2014
by Sam Petitfils