Growing Through Adversity

No one wants or welcomes adversity in his or her life. There are some that would prefer to dictate how the events of life should occur and try to avoid adversity, but we all should conclude that we can’t control the “ups and downs” in life. When there is difficulty, this is a test as to what we believe as followers of Jesus Christ. It requires faith and trust in Him and the remembrance that God is in control.Adversity is not a bad thing; in fact, it is good thing, because it challenges our faith and provides opportunities for growth in our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Job 14:1

Man born of woman is short of days and full of trouble.

Adversity is what can be defined as “commotion,” or the condition of being physically agitated… restlessness, an uneasy or nervous state… a disastrous failure or defeat.

The worst thing that we can do is run away from life in response to moments of adversity. If believers are “more than conquerers,” then why run away…what are we running from? Adversity should, in fact, should be drawing us closer to God rather than away from Him. Depending upon where you are and what you are going through, it may require a consistent act of continually seeking Christ, in many ways, just to endure the hardship. It also requires compliance and agreement with God’s Word, which means humility and surrendering to Him as to whatever He wants to do in our live…whether we like it or not. It is a matter of obedience to God’s Word, and the joy realized with the peace of God that allows us to transcend beyond the adversity.

We are to have peace with God in order to have the peace of God.

Romans 5:1

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:5-8

5 For those whose lives are according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those whose lives are according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God.

Philippians 2:5

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus.

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”

In our adversity, we should always be mindful that we are walking with the Lord in fellowship through our life and our actions. This will enable each of us to know that we have the peace of God in our lives.

John 16:33
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

Peace is the very thing that God provides for us in the midst of difficulty.

It is important to seek the Lord and live in God’s peace and avoid the things that can disrupt your peace. Those who will readily criticize you and make claims that you never do anything right should be avoided (constructive criticism with justification is much different from harsh, unreasonable criticism). Another stumbling block is to compare where you are a person against that of where you perceive someone else is. There is no real peace when you are taking the focus off of God. The disruption of one’s peace also comes from carnality of the flesh, which prevents seeking the Lord in all things. It implies operating on one’s own strength instead of relying upon God.

Matthew 20:24-27

24 When the 10 [disciples] heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. 26 It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.

1 Timothy 1:5
Now the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Ephesians 4:7
Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the Messiah’s gift. For it says: When He ascended on high, He took prisoners into captivity; He gave gifts to people.

Adversity reveals the real life that we are living in Christ (or without Him). Are we living according to God’s standards and expectations?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.

Romans 2:21

…you then, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach, “You must not steal”—do you steal?

James 1:2-3

 2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

His glory is revealed in us by our commitment to living the life that glorifies Him.

His glory is revealed to us in these three areas of life:
1. Goodness
2. Faithfulness
3. Servanthood

Goodness reflects how well we treat others in spite of our adversity. Faithfulness has to do with your word being your word, because you are living according to God’s Word. Servanthood refers to how you serve others with the desire to serve Christ and glorify Him, and not because you are looking for special recognition.

Each of these becomes our agenda in life only when we believe that God is sovereign and totally in control. He has absolute authority over everything in His creation.

John 19:10-11
So Pilate said to Him, “You’re not talking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You and the authority to crucify You?” “You would have no authority over Me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given to you from above. This is why the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.”

John 3:27
John responded, “No one can receive a single thing unless it’s given to him from heaven.”

Matthew 10:29
“Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent.”

 

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and speaker with years of experience as a business owner and corporate supervisor. My philosophy is “excellence in leadership-by-example with integrity and without compromise.” I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also held memberships with the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am Church Administrator and Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron, Ohio. I have taught adult Sunday school for over 25 years and facilitated numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. Every now and then, I fill in for the pastor with a sermon. I am a longtime advocate of Christian-based elementary and high school education. I am a graduate of The University of Akron with a degree in Business and Organizational Communication, and recently earned a Master’s degree in Christian Studies at Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. I am also a member of the Chaplains Association of Ohio, and involved in Clinical Pastoral studies for possible full or part-time chaplaincy. I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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