Advancing Through Adversity

by Rob Campbell

Joel’s post yesterday highlighted a cell church plant in Muskegon, Michigan pastored by Jeff Boersma.  Check it out and read the comments.

I ate lunch with a cell church planter yesterday and he said, “This is quite a journey.  Everything and I mean everything has not gone the way I expected it to go.”  We laughed.  Thankfully, this cell church pastor is leading a very dynamic cell church that is seeing lives changed.

Planting and leading will be treacherous at times.  It’s interesting.  One of God’s 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.

Remember, God does not permit adversity for the purpose of defeating us but for the purpose of benefiting us.  Consider the eagle.  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.  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 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? 

Indeed, our faith is weighed on the scales of adversity.  May you advance through adversity with God’s Spirit upon you.


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