Adversity is not our enemy; it is our friend. How? It is one of the keys to success in life! Don’t fight the struggles; know they have a purpose. “If we faint in the day of adversity, our strength is small” (Proverbs 24:20) Adversity brings 6 improvements in our life:
1. Adversity is a tunnel which leads to a place of light when you understand even the most-simple reason for a trial. We may never understand the full reason until we get to heaven and God reveals it, but we will have an inkling of the simplest understanding in time. Time reveals much in our life!
If we will sit back and dive into God’s Word, He will reveal the meaning of our trials. Read God’s Word thoughtfully and carefully, desiring to find that “gold nugget” made especially for you that will be the key to understanding “your” suffering. Trials have silver linings, but we have to discover them through time and asking God to reveal them.
When God gives you a “golden nugget” from His Word for you only, it will “slap you in the face” or “pop off the page at you.” When it does, write it down and date it; memorize it and allow it to be applied to your life.
2. Adversity brings added character to our life. It prepares us to be used by God. God knows how each one of us needs to fit in His School of Faith. We need to allow God to grow us when trials come. Adversity is the instructor in God’s school of Faith!
We are the clay and God is the Potter (Is. 64:8; 30:14; Jer. 18:4-6; 19:1-11; Zech. 11;
Romans 9:21; Rev. 2:27; Ps. 2:9; Is. 29:16; 30). He molds us as He sees fit. God alone knows what is best for each of us in order for us to grow and become the person He would have us to be for His purpose.
Realize the good behind every adversity. When we submit to God and obey His will for us, good will become evident. God will bless those who are submissive to Him. (Psalm 1:1-3; 2:12; 5:11-12; 29:11; 32:1-2; 34:8; 40:4; 41:1-2; 65:4; 67:6-7; 84:5, 12; 94:12-13; 106:3; 112:1-2; 115:12-15; 119:1-2; 128:1, 4)
3. Adversity brings emotional health to us when we submit to what the Lord has allowed in our life. God desires to be and should be the boss of your life. Many times, we want God to give His approval on what we want to do in life. We need to submit to Him and His will rather than go our own way. We need to allow the Lord Jesus
Christ to be boss of our life instead of ourselves. The word “Lord” means “Boss” or “Master!”
How can God be “boss of our life” if we are not in His Word? Diving into the God’s Word is the “Ark of Life.” How does the Word of God, the Bible, meet our needs? The Word of God is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. For we do not have a High Priest (Jesus) who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy ad find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:12-15) Since the Bible works to help us in our spirit and soul (mind, will, emotions), it will do the “surgery” that God knows needs to help our dilemma. He will remove or add what is right for us. He shows us what sin we need to eliminate in our life and add positive behavior in its place. This is the “put off” and “put on” principle that God teaches us in Ephesians 4: 22-5:13. Peace will come in our spirit when we allow God’s Word to work in our lives.
4. Adversity solidifies unity among believers. When others come to help during our hardship, this will bring comfort and stability to our situation. It is nice to know that others are entering your “boat of life” and helping you to row to shore safely, no matter the outcome of that trial.
We become bound together with other believers when they come along side us and strengthen us in our storm of life. In Isaiah 40:31, God instructs us, “Those that “WAIT” upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” The word “WAIT” is very interesting. The root of this word means to bind together by twisting. That set me to start thinking of how does this relate to our spiritual lives?
One tiny individual strand of rope (which represents one person) can’t withstand great pressure. By itself, it will break long before the rope that is bound together would.
A four-cord rope stands for God the Father, God the Son (the Word), God the Holy Spirit, and us as the body of Christ. This is an invincible force against the wiles of the devil! (compare Ephesians 6:10-18) Be united to God, His Word, and with each other will bring success in all of our lives.
In a four-cord rope, I learned how one individual strand would be twisted clock-wise and the next would be twisted counter-clockwise. This process would be continued until all the individual strands were made into one cord. Then, after making four cords, those four cords would be twisted with each other to form the entire rope.
In our lives, we, as a single strand, are put through tribulations so as to prepare us for being a vessel fit for the Master’s use in His kingdom. Do you ever feel as though you have a tiger by the tail and are being twisted from the right to the left and you may not know which end is up. Standing in life by ourselves, we can be tossed about until the breaking point. With unity with other believers, this helps all of us to stand strong and become a rope that will not break no matter the intensity of the trial. How strong is your rope?
5. Adversity shows us we need someone outside of ourselves. As God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden on this earth, that shows us He made us to inhabit a perfect world for His glory on earth. We are creatures that will one day rule and reign with Jesus. He will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as He guides us while living in a perfect New Earth. We will do the bidding of our Master on the New Heaven and New Earth. (Revelation 21) If we don’t have adversity, we would become satisfied to stay right here forever, blending into the world. Staying in this corrupt world would make us to trust in ourselves. Adversity gives us a reason to hope and look for something better—Eternal Heaven with God. (Revelation 21-22) Adversity reveals our shortcomings. God has a way or uncovering our sins through storms. He lays bare our hidden sins that possibly have been there for years. Everyone has blind spots to their own lives, but others can see our hidden-to-us sins.
6. Adversity is our ticket to a stronger life’s message and ministry. God means for us to take the comfort He has given to us while in our trials and give it out to others when they have their trials. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7) God is constantly maturing us in order for us to rise above where we are at the moment and to improve in our character and understanding that we have a Mighty God who is all glorious in wisdom and understanding. Struggling causes us to desire and be determined to be a success.
The devil has an agenda for us–to steal, kill, and destroy. Some of our struggles is him trying his best to distract us from our life’s calling. We should stand against trials with the Blood of Jesus, His perfect life, and the power of His resurrection. Sometimes, we need to realize there is a power in this world that is greater than we are (the devil), but microscopic compared to Jesus and His infinite power and wisdom.
God allows us to experience Christ’s suffering in order for His glory to be revealed in us. When we are reproached for the name of Christ, we are blessed (Matthew 5:10-11). Then the Spirit of glory and God rests upon us. (1 Peter 4:12-16; 2 Cor. 4:5-18) In James 1:2-6, various trials produce 3 things in us—patience, wisdom, faith. In Romans 5: 3-5, God spells out to us, tribulation produces perseverance, character, and hope, which brings the love of God pouring out of our hearts by the Holy Spirit. When we are truly in Jesus, nothing can separate us from the love of God—tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword. No, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:31-39).
Adversity brings our desperate need for God into proper focus and causes us to remember, reflect, and rediscover our love for others. It shows us our basic and deep priorities of life.
You will be able to help others by sharing your life stories for God’s glory.