Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

adversity Archive



June 2017

Hope Reflected | What is the blessing in adversity?

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

what is the blessing in adversity

What is the blessing in adversity?

As we’ve all learned the past several weeks, nothing grows without rain. Sometimes, the same can be said of our own personal growth. Without adversity and challenges in life, we would not be who we are.

Last year, I wrote about what to do in the face of adversity, and lately Wes and I have been discussing the blessing in adversity. It’s human nature when we go through hard times or have to face challenges, to get discouraged and to get down. The hard truth to swallow is that in those times of adversity, we should learn and train ourselves to embrace adversity, to see the blessing in adversity.

What is the blessing in adversity? Adversity is an opportunity.

  1. Adversity is an opportunity to reflect. “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.” (Psalm 26:2) Adversity offers an opportunity to reflect. It is thought that David wrote Psalm 26 during a very testing time – when he was fleeing King Saul and hiding out in the wilderness (for ten years, no less). Even at a time when he was fleeing for his life, David asked the Lord to examine him, and to try his mind and heart. Adversity offers an opportunity to reflect and question our own actions and motivations. What is God trying to teach us or to tell us? What can we learn from our current circumstances? Sometimes our own spiritual reflection is a way for God to reveal a misbehavior or bad attitude.
  2. Adversity is an opportunity to get better and strengthen your faith. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4) Adversity is an opportunity to strengthen your faith – look at the Biblical examples of men and women who moved forward with faith, even when the odds were against them: Joseph, Joshua, and Ruth, just to name a few. “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
  3. Adversity is an opportunity to grow closer to God. “Call upon Me [God] in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:15) David is perhaps one of the greatest examples of a man who would continuously seek after God, even in the most dire and desperate of circumstances. Over and over again in the Psalms, we read his testimony of God’s faithfulness. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) If you’re struggling in stormy seas, take your focus off the unsettled wind, sea, and rains, and put your faith in the One Who controls all the weather. You might be going through a season of adversity, and that’s no surprise to God. Look to Him.
  4. Adversity is an opportunity to encourage others. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17) Have you ever had a friend who, no matter what, has been there for you; a friend who’s seen you at your worst, and still loves and encourages you? Going through adversity provides a great opportunity to encourage another soul who may also be going through a challenging time. In Galatians 6:2, we’re told to “bear one another’s burdens,” and adversity is an opportunity to do just that.

If you’re facing adversity, don’t be afraid. Remember, there is blessing in adversity. Dr. Charles Stanley puts it like this: “Adversity is not simply a tool. It is God’s most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives. The circumstances and events that we see as setbacks are oftentimes the very things that launch us into periods of intense spiritual growth.” Adversity is an opportunity. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:8-11)

Originally published as “What is the blessing in adversity” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. May 18, 2017: 7. Print. Web.



October 2016

Hope Reflected: What to do in the face of Adversity

Written by , Posted in Christian Living

what to do in the face of adversity


“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” Wise words regarding adversity from one of my favourite authours, C.S. Lewis. Inevitably, we all will face adversity in our lives at some point or another. While it may not be comforting, that’s a fact. Another fact? The key to facing adversity is how we react to it.

Proverbs 24:10 says, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” It’s easy to say, but quite often when we face times of adversity, we wonder how we’ll make it through. One of the keys to facing adversity is remembering how to keep things in perspective. Whether you’re facing adversity spiritually, relationally, physically, or emotionally, there is hope.

The most important fact to remember in the face of adversity is that God can and will help you through the toughest times in your life, if you will put your trust in Him. In the face of adversity, here are three things to do:

  1. Ask the Lord what He’s trying to teach you. Is it patience? (This is a BIG one for me!) Is it humility? Is it trust? Whatever you’re going through, God’s got you. Whatever your current circumstances and situation, God will be there for you if you’ll put your trust in Him. Largely attributed to David – who, if you’re looking or a man who faced plenty of adversity throughout his life, check out the life of David in the Bible – Psalm 119 sheds light on seeking the Lord in times of adversity, especially in verse 71, “It is good or me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Perhaps there’s an area in your life where God is trying teach you or mature you. It seems like my life long I’ve been learning (and learning, and learning) the virtue of patience. Ask the Lord what He’s trying to teach you!
  2. Remind yourself that God is in control. Ecclesiastes 7:14 tells us, “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider; God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” Whatever you’re facing, God is in complete control. You know what makes that fact easier to accept? When you trust God completely. Trusting God with your whole heart brings a peace that I can’t even begin to describe. As the apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
  3. Submit, surrender, and fight the good fight. OK that’s three points in one, but you get the idea. In the face of adversity:
    1. Submit yourself to the Lord. For help with submission, see James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.”
    2. Surrender yourself to His will. In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus tells His disciples, “’If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.’”
    3. Fight the good fight. 1 Timothy 6:12 tells us to “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” See also 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” And finally, Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, those whom He has called according to His purpose.”

Whatever you’re dealing with today, and wherever this finds you, there is hope. God will provide for you, if you will trust in Him! I’ll close with this quote from Charles Stanley: “Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them.”

Originally published as “What to do in the face of adversity.” Minto Express. September 14, 2016. 5: Print.