by Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday November 6, 2004
How to Advance Through Our Adversity
Romans 8:18, 26-28
What would happen if we approached a fork in the road and found two signs, one reading "Road of Comfort" and the other, "Road of Adversity"? We would veer onto the Road of Comfort with a sigh of relief, wouldn't we? None of us wants to experience even one single unnecessary moment of pain, disappointment, or loss. Yet God's Word tells us affliction is inevitable. (John 16:33) The good news, however, is that for the believer, there is always purpose in it. (Romans 8:28)
Purpose #1 Adversity reveals our view of God. If we feel like victims in the trial, then our belief in His sovereignty is not solid. If we become fixed on our negative circumstances, then our faith in His good purposes is shown to be shaky. The more clearly we understand who God is, the deeper and stronger our faith will be. Strong faith will keep us steady.
Purpose #2 Adversity teaches us the truth about ourselves. Many of these truths could not be learned any other way. For example, through financial loss, we learn the true priority of material things in our life - we may find our identity has been wrapped up in our jobs or bank account. If our suffering is due to another person's words or actions, we discover how willing we are to forgive. We also learn about our capacity to endure in the face of great difficulty.
Scripture exhorts us to use our adverse experiences wisely so that we will progress in Christian maturity. As we become like Jesus - in both our view of God and our character - we will please our Father greatly.
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