One thing that all my close friends have in common with each other is adversity. How about your circle of friends? It’s true isn’t it? Maybe we should go find some new friends! If we did, then we would probably figure out that our “new” set of friends are plagued with adversity as well. Adversity is common in life and in relationships. If you are not experiencing any adversity right now, then please be patient.
A cell is a set of relationships. Therefore, don’t be surprised when adversity comes your way. We see adversity in the lives of almost every major character in the scriptures. By my count, there are forty-six scenarios in the book of Acts in which God’s servants are facing adversity. Jesus taught us that we will face trials, tribulations, persecutions and more. We will, indeed, face adversity. How can we advance through adversity?
God forms us in many different ways. One of his primary ways of shaping us and preparing us for service to Him is through adversity. Adversity can become our greatest motivation for spiritual growth or the deadliest means of discouragement. Our challenge is not to get stuck in adversity, but to grow through it.
God does not permit adversity for the purpose of defeating us but for the purpose of benefiting us. I love bald eagles! When I go to a zoo with my family, I head straight for the bald eagles. They are majestic creatures. Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses that storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. May we emulate the eagle as storms will come our way. Here’s why.
Our response to adversity displays to others what we think of God. It also reveals our life’s lenses. Typically, people walk around with the following lenses: Is it what I want? Is it what I deserve? Is it what I always expected? Does it make sense to me? Does it fit into my plans? Does it make me happy? Does it inconvenience me in any way? Will others understand?
Those who successfully advance through adversity are astute and consistent in asking the following two questions. First, how can this adversity in my life glorify God? Next, how can this adversity fulfill God’s purpose in the earth? Your faith is weighed on the scales of adversity than any other way.
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles…” (Isaiah 40:31)
by Rob Campbell