Understanding Adversity

Have you ever wondered, why does God allow us to experience times of hardship, pain, and difficulty? How can a God that is the very essence of love, let these things happen to me? We begin to plague our thoughts with doubt and take matters into our own hands, searching for answers or any glimmer of hope.

Many people have the idea that when you become a Christian, your life becomes absent of any adversity. However, we soon find out that this is not the truth. We are left with our confused logic that presents itself as follows:

1.     If God is sovereign, He can prevent hardships.

2.     If God really does love me then He will protect me from experiencing hardships.

3.     Therefore, if difficulties or suffering occurs in my life then God does not love me.

This logic breaks down at point number two. It is true that God is powerful enough to prevent difficulties from occurring in your life. However, the issue is that we often have a different perspective than God on what we believe is good for our lives. The lie that Satan wants us to believe is that if God allows us to suffer then He does not love us. The truth is that God does love us and allows us to experience difficult times so that we may align more closely with His glory and purpose for us. We can see this promise in Romans 8:28, “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God, in His intentional orchestration of our beautiful lives, allows us to face adversity to shape our hearts so that it reflects the character of Christ. As Christians, we must change our perception to acknowledge that adversity can create something positive in our lives and trust that God can redeem the situation.

God’s purpose for allowing adversity in our lives involves a process in which we are transformed by the Grace of God. Through this transformation, we are able to be physical expressions of what God is like so that the fullness of Jesus and His Glory will be revealed to others.

“But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity.”

– Job 36:15

Adversity Gets Our Attention

When we are faced with suffering, it is incredibly hard to see the truth that God is developing us into faithful followers of Christ. However, one of the most loving things God can do for your life is to introduce adversity. When difficult times occur, we are often forced to encounter problems that are too big to overcome or resolve. In this way, God gets our attention so that we will trust Him and learn from Him. In Mathew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.Our weaknesses are often spotlighted during difficult times and Christ’s invitation to rely on God becomes very attractive in the midst of hardship.

Adversity Leads Us to Examination

When God uses adversity to get our attention, it is important to examine ourselves and discern if we are disobeying God in any area of our lives. During the Last Supper, Jesus calls us to self-examination. “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 11:29-30).

Adversity Promotes Spiritual Maturity

Through adversity, God ignites a passion within us to trust Him. We ultimately come to the conclusion that we need to fully put our faith in God and receive His grace to live in a way that honors Him.

As Christians, adversity is like resistant training for the spirit. God allows difficult times to occur in our lives to strengthen us where we are spiritually weak. In the midst of suffering this can be a hard concept to grasp because our minds are focused solely on the present. However, with time comes wisdom. Looking back, you will see how God’s grace and love for you during adversity molded you into the faithful Christ-follower that you are today.

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