Word of the Day: Adversity
Definition: 1.) Difficulties; misfortune (Oxford University Press, 2015).
2.) A state of hardship or affliction; misfortune; calamitous event (Farlex, Inc. 2003-2015).
This is a word that affects everyone at some point in their life. Adversity strikes from the womb through the golden years. It is no respecter of persons and holds no regards for whomever it decides to visit. Unfortunately, adversity is inevitable. As believers, we are not exempt from facing adversity. If anything, we are probably more susceptible to it. Many scriptures convey just how hard it is living down on earth. The scripture 2nd Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” While this passage shows adversity, it also shows that no matter how hard our situations are, we will overcome and have the victory as long as we continue pressing forward. God created us in His likeness and Jesus intercedes on our behalf, therefore giving us the durability and innate ability to triumph over trials. This is why we find scriptures such as Romans 8:31 to be so encouraging, “What then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Come what may, we are equipped to survive what comes our way with obedience to God’s word and His guidance.
Now, being obedient can be two-sided in the sense that sometimes God’s leadership will literally lead us right to the storm. Or that blessing that He gave us may be followed by what we may perceive to be pointless and inconvenient mishaps. For example, you get a promotion on your job. The job is wonderful, and you feel it was indeed a blessing from the Lord. But on week #3, you notice your boss begins to act strange toward you and deal with you in a harsh manner. Situations like this can weigh heavily on the heart and even cause you to question your blessing. However, this is a perfect moment for growth. In times of adversity, character is developed and shaped. What many of us fail to realize is that God will allow you to go through different forms of adversity for your good. Psalms 119:71 says, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Here is the same scripture in the Aramaic Bible, “It is good for me that I have been humbled that I may learn your commandments.”
In the very midst of adversity, God can show you just who He is and how good He is. You will have the ability to see how strong you are in some areas and where you may need some improvements and support. Often times, while going through the storms, it is hard to see things in this frame of focus. However, once that sense of awareness happens personally, I am immediately filled with gratefulness. I’m usually floored and in awe at what is revealed to me. I have received some of the greatest break-throughs at this point, and it is the time when I feel most enlightened. So, although we groan about what it represents in our eyes, adversity is necessary for our personal and spiritual growth.
Action: Are you in a storm right now? When you find that you are facing adversity, continue to read your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you understanding of the scriptures. Pray that God would help you to apply His word to your situation.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for this message about adversity. I realize exactly what it means and how it affects me in my walk. Help me to grasp that concept and hold on to it, while even in the midst of going through. A lot of things are easier said than done, and it becomes so difficult to see rationally when I feel irrational things are happening to me. But I thank You for the scriptures and testimonies of how others endured, triumphed, overcame and those who even failed, which teaches me what can happen on either end of the spectrum. I will forever worship and adore You and all these things I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Affirmation: God knows what is best for me.