What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:1-3
Are we praying for the wrong thing? DON’T PRAY FOR RAIN; PRAY FOR REVIVAL!! National revival. Pray for a much more righteous nation. Proverbs 14:33-35. We’ve had it too good for too long, and have been living in a fool’s paradise.
In Revelation God used economic hardship in an attempt to bring Rome to repentance. Revelation 6:5-6; 9:3-6,18-21.
God used Daniel to bring Babylon to its knees (its king even munching on the grass like the animals), then restored when Nebuchadnezzar recognized that it is God who rules the nations. Humbling and humiliation led to Nebuchadnezzar seeing the light. Then God restored him.
At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws.
34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honoured him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendour returned to me. My counsellors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Daniel 4:29-37
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
God’s plan with hardships:
• They turn us toward God.
• They make us love one another more and thus become more like God.
• There’s too much love of pleasure. Too much materialism. Too much selfishness.
• Evangelistic: we Christians can talk with the world about why it’s happening.
Our devastating fires should remind us of the serious reality of God's ultimate, fiery judgment, the brevity of life, and the folly of trusting in the things of the world. Turning to Christ and trusting in the Lord is the best preparation anyone can make for the many calamities that can bring an end to our earthly possessions and cut short our lives. Matthew 4:4; 6:19-34; Luke 12:15; John 6:27; 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 4:13-16; 2 Peter 3:1-12.