Adversity, as defined by Meriam-Webster, is a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty orÂ adverseÂ fortune.Â We all have adversity from time to time.Â However, it affects us in many different ways.Â Please allow me take a different perspective on adversity.
Â I heard years ago that David Ring asked, â€œWhy do bad things happen to good people?â€Â I have thought a lot about that and I want to ask a similar yet different question.Â Maybe you have asked the same question.Â â€œWhy am I going through this, God?â€Â We all know the story of the man blind from birth and the people asked what sin he committed to cause his blindness.Â Â The disciples asked, â€œWas it this man or his parentsâ€™ sin that caused him to be blind?â€ Those people thought, from their perspective, that somehow his blindness was a sign of the judgment of God.Â Those people asked the same questions that many of us ask today.Â Why did that person or loved one have to die?Â Why is my world falling apart?Â Why did I lose my job?Â Why is all of this happening to me?Â Why, Why, Why?
First, we need to know it is alright to ask why.Â God can handle us asking why as long as we remember Romans 8:28, all things work together….!Â You know the verse.Â When adversity comes we tend to think this is God’s way of paying me back, or, my punishment for something I did.Â If that were God’s purpose then no one would live for Him. Thinking too narrowly about adversity sets you up for needless guilt.Â Jesus said this about the blind man in John 9:3.Â â€œNeither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.â€Â Â There was a purpose to this man’s blindness and there is a purpose for our adversities.
Adversity can be our greatest motivation for spiritual and personal growth or our deadliest means of discouragement. Â The difference depends on our understanding of God’s purpose in adversity.
Â First, adversity is God’s way of getting our attention.
Jeremiah 35: 14 â€“ The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their fatherâ€™s commandment; not withstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye harkened not unto me.
Second, adversity is God’s call to â€œself-examinationâ€.
1st Corinthians 11:31, 32 â€“ For if we would judge ourselves we should not be judged.Â But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Third, adversity is a reminder of our weaknesses.
Psalm 103: 13, 14 â€“ Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.Â For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
Fourth, adversity is our motivation to cry out to God.
Psalm 34:17 â€“ The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles
Fifth, adversity is evidence of the spiritual and personal warfare we all face.
Ephesians 6:12 â€“ For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Sixth, adversity is a signal to re-evaluate our priorities
Psalm 107: 20 â€“ He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Seventh, adversity is God’s way of testing our friendships
Proverbs 17: 17 – A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity.
Finally, adversity is our preparation to comfort others
2nd Corinthians 1:3, 4 â€“ Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
We cannot really know how to comfort someone until we have been in a place of pain.Â Adversity is the process we go through in order to reach out to others in their painful times.Â God’s purpose, if you allow adversity to work, will produce a person that God can use for your good and His Glory!Â God loves you the same before, during, and after your time of adversity.Â One of my favorite verses of scripture, Isaiah 41: 10 says, â€œFear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.â€Â I believe you will find strength, and assurance in knowing that God is always with you no matter what you are going through.
I have been in much adversity this past year as have many of you.Â I have found, however; that no matter how difficult I may have it, if I look over my shoulder there is someone in a more difficult situation than myself.Â But, if we will apply these eight principles of adversity, put them to use, and stand on the promises, we can make a better life for others as well as ourselves.Â All the answers lie in the Book because His name says it all.Â Jesus has the answers for it all.
Â Ed Crawford
Ed Crawford is a singer, songwriter, producer, vocal instructor, ordained minister, columnist, evangelist and child of God. He was a member of the Kingsmen Quartet and founder of the Mystery Men Quartet, as well as performing as a soloist and preaching the Word of God. Ed’s goal is to spread the name of Jesus, bring salvation to the sinner, comfort the lonely and uplift the downtrodden. He wants to show the world that Jesus’ Name says it all. For more information email Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Facebook atÂ http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000734662046