I have always wanted to avoid pain. I don’t like it, I don’t know many people who do. But when life hits you with adversity, how do I react? It helps me to think of the positive outcome of adversity and devastation. If I can see God in it, there is hope.
I can experience contentment in the midst of adversity. Philippians 4:10-11 and 2 Corinthians 12:10 show that you can be content with difficulties. These things are not tearing me down, they are building me into who God is making me.
I can experience God’s supernatural strength in my weaknesses. 2 Corinthians 12:10 says there will be great surges of the Holy Spirit in my life when I get to the point where I think I can’t handle it. I am learning the source for all my needs is Christ’s power. Christ is sufficient with his love and care for me. If I keep looking to the Lord Jesus, I will be taken care of. If I don’t give up and quit, I will learn that I can trust in the faithfulness of God. He is trustworthy and He won’t let us down.
Sometimes God overlooks my desires to equip me to serve Him. He sees potential in me. He sees that I am able and willing. He sees my value. He knows what will equip me to serve him. People will want to know how I walked through this trial. They will want someone they can relate to so they too, can experience joy after devastation.
I can choose to sulk and miss out on my relationship with God or I can choose to realize that God is STRENGTHENING HIS MESSAGE to God’s followers. God is deepening my message, my faith, my testimony so that I will become even more effective as that message grows stronger.
I am learning to see EVERYTHING comes from God. 2 Corinthians 12:7 talks about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. God allows these “thorns” in my life to keep me humble and content. The way to win the battle is to acknowledge that everything comes from Him. Ride on His truths. He is for me, not against! Even though it looks bad, it will ultimately be redeemed for good if we allow Him to do His thing in our lives.
He uses adversity to grow me up and to learn the way so of God. He brings revelation when I cry out to Him. He shows me a new side of His character that I had not known previously. There becomes an intimacy between us, that cannot be fathomed as I press in and grow up in Christ.
Adversity makes me a more effective comforter. The comfort becomes genuine when we have truly been hurt. When we have a need to be comforted, then we can comfort the most. Which brings us to the question, “Am I willing to suffer loss if that equips me to comfort others?”.
God has a specific purpose for my adversity. He is protecting me from my own self. Pride is the ugly beast that raises it’s head in my life. Pride in a perfect family, and being a perfect wife, mother and friend. Pride in even the blessings that He has given me. Adversity strips this away and makes me stand bare before Him. It is not because of my righteousness that I have one of His blessings, let alone many, it is because of His grace and mercy upon my life.
Adversity teaches and makes me a learner of God’s ways. It makes me a disciple. It creates in me a need to understand that without Him, I am ashes and dust. He is the lifter of my head. Glory to God!
I share this with you to give you hope and peace. He is so near to you, press in with everything you have and ask God to redeem your adversity into something beautiful.
(Some of these concepts were taken from a sermon I heard from Dr. Charles Stanley. I took notes and put my own spin on it)