Have you ever heard the saying, “Adversity makes you stronger?” We would all agree that the statement on some level has validity. However, our real-life experience teaches us that adversity often leaves us confused, angry, hurt or depressed. Depending on the level and intensity, adversity often puts us in a weakened and vulnerable position. We are weakened because we don’t know what to do next and vulnerable because we often have a sense of desperation.
I believe the Lord has a purpose for us experiencing adversity. Here are three things to consider.
It’s about perspective
Adversity in and of itself has no value. The value to us lies in our perspective. We basically have two choices when adversity comes. One is a perspective of doom that keeps us in a confused, angry, hurt and depressed stage, or a perspective of hope that will allow the Lord to teach us a life lesson that will indelibly mark our life to the good.
The first step to getting out the “adversity funk” is to decide to change your perspective. Instead of living in an overwhelmed mode, decide to get up, dust yourself off and be intentional about discovering a good side to the situation.
It’s About Being Positive
Immerse yourself in positivity. I don’t mean the touchy-feely kind of emotion. But I am referring to the faith kind of positivity. You can be genuinely positive because you have the promises of God’s word to give you hope. Whatever situation you are facing God promises that He is “able to do exceeding, abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:29) In other words, there is no situation too hard for God.
It’s Time to stop talking and start listening
I had a good friend who had a bad habit of finishing my sentences. When I would engage in a conversation with him he would inevitably finish my sentences for me. He thought he knew where I was going in the conversation, so he would attempt to complete my thoughts. But most of the time he was wrong. He had terrible listening skills. I would often think, if he would just be quiet and listen we could make a decision.
Sometimes we are just like that with God. Because we so strongly believe in consistent prayer, we sometimes don’t take time to be quiet and develop spiritual listen skills. Once we bring our case to God, we are to leave it there, then rest and listen.
God wants us is to fully trust Him through our adversity. When we worry, that’s a sign of a lack of trust. Taking things into our own hands is an indication that we know better than God.
When we face adversity, our perspective should be to look for God in the midst. He is there, but we must look for Him. Then we are to display a positive attitude based on the promises of God. The promises are for us, and they are based on absolute truth. Then we are to be intentional about listening for His voice. He promises us, “call upon on me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you know not. “
The proper response to adversity is God’s way of deepening our fellowship, teaching us valuable lessons and building our character.