Adversity University

Each of us face adversity in this life.  It’s how we face adversity and what we understand about it that makes all the difference.

The Christian life is a place of Higher learning—receiving our instruction from the Most High. : )

My first experience facing adversity without the option of escaping through my addiction, was at the Reformers Unanimous School of Discipleship

In an earlier post, I shared how one of the first things I noticed there was the other ladies saying the phrase, “cast it down.”  Another phrase they used was, “count it all joy.”

“Count it all joy” was a reminder from James 1:2-3…

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations [various trials]; Knowing this, that the trying [testing]of your faith worketh [produces] patience.
— James 1:2-3, [added definitions from King James Study Bible].

We

were learning

a new response

to adversity:

To count it

all joy!

We began to understand that our trials were really tests of our faith...opportunities to glorify God.

Our heavenly Father doesn’t simply allow us to experience adversity...but by His providence, He designs it—for each of us personally and individually!  He knows and loves us! 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
— Romans 8:28-29

The “curriculum”

God assigns

each of us

will work to

conform us into

His Son’s image. 

 

3 things Adversity does:

  • It shows you to you.
  • It shows God to you.
  • It shows God to others.

Adversity

shows

you to you.

Adversity tests our faith in God.  Our response to adversity reveals the true condition of our heart.

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
— Proverbs 24:10

One day I made a terrible decision in reaction to adversity—and was told by my leadership there, “Your God must not be very big.”

The children of Israel failed to trust God by asking for a king…

And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us.
— 1 Samuel 10:19a

Will we choose like they did to turn away from God? Will we reject what God, by His providence, is allowing in our life?

If we turn away from our true King, we turn to something else…an idol.

As a captive to

the stronghold

of addiction,

I became

an escape artist. 

At the RU Discipleship school, I no longer had the escape option.  

I remember traveling on the bus, returning from a church fellowship one night... 

It was dark outside as I sat looking through the windows.  It had been a stressful week and I felt empty inside. The craving to drink alcohol filled me. 

I was missing the relief I used to find in it.  That’s when I saw the neon lights of a bar as we drove past.  The ache I felt reminded me of labor pains.  I really needed relief!

Have you ever felt like that? Like life is getting to be too much? If only you could get some relief, if only temporarily?

That’s when

you’ll know the

exam for that

“particular class”

(specific area

God is working

on in your heart)

has begun.

If I'd been able to go home that night, I probably would have given in to the temptation to drink.  Thankfully that was not an option.  Instead, by God's grace I was able to share my struggle with the other ladies after we got back. 

One of them said that those “labor pains” I was feeling would soon pass and a beautiful new life would begin. She was so right! : )

God uses the outside pressure of adversity to break our “outer man” so the “inner man” (Jesus in us) can shine through.

— Bro. Steve Curington

Just as

an exam has

multiple answers

to choose from,

we have

choices to make

in our times

of adversity.


Adversity

shows God

to you.

So we have decided to trust God.  We are willing to accept the adversity we are facing as coming from Him.  Now what?

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying,
This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
— Isaiah 30:20-21

In the midst of our troubles, God will guide and give us wisdom.  Maybe it will be just the right verse or the counsel of an encouraging godly friend. 

With the

adversity

will come

the provision

"the right escape"

to endure it.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:
but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it.
— 1 Corinthians 10:13

With adversity comes the opportunity to see God fulfill His promises to us!


Adversity

shows God

to others.

One of the biggest faith-builders for me is when I see the faith others have in God—especially by their response to adversity. 

I can think of someone right now whose life is glorifying God by the way she is responding to one of His ultimate tests...

This dear lady has been diagnosed with cancer.  It never fails, each time I see her at church, she has the look of perfect love and peace.  Her eyes shine with Christ’s presence.

Her response to adversity is showing God to us. I pray that my faith in God would be so pure and strong. 

 

One

final note

on adversity—

 

The beautiful truth that Jesus Himself is praying for us, that our faith fails not:

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
— Luke 22:31-32

Dear friend, I’m praying for you too…that you will be better equipped for whatever adversity you face.  We can know without a doubt that Jesus knows exactly what we are going through and He is with us, praying for us, and will turn our trials into blessings!