My intention with this blog has been to keep my family and friends informed on the progress of the house, to post pictures and updates as we work on the house, and eventually, to share our new life and adventures as we settle in at our new surroundings.
I hadn’t planned on blogging about other things, but this one has been rolling around in my head for several days, and I just can’t seem to let it go.
There have been many times that I have been struggling with something in my life, at my whits end, and crying out to God for help, direction or wisdom. I’ve prayed about it, I’ve repented if I needed to…done everything I know to do. It’s hard to read my Bible, or to pray and it seems that things just spiral downhill. Nothing seems to help. During those times, I feel that I am at the end of my rope, have tied a knot in the end, and I’m just hanging on.
Almost always…right at the perfect time when I am parched with thirst,and ready to throw in the towel, I’m given a refreshing drink of crystal clear Truth. Often, it’s something I’ve heard before, something I know in my head, but which hasn’t yet sunk into my heart. Then, finally, when I least expect it, the light bulb is turned on. For me, it usually comes through a book or sermon.
I know everyone has their favorite authors or preachers who always seem to throw nuggets of much needed truth that seem to reach them right where they are at. One of mine is Charles Stanley. One of the reasons is that he always points to Jesus and cuts to the heart of the matter. His wisdom is usually the catalyst that sheds light on my situation, lifts me back up, and sets me back on the right path.
I don’t listen to Charles Stanley all the time, in fact, most of the time, it has been my sister, Lana, urging me to listen to “this really good sermon I heard on the radio” Thank you Jesus for podcasts!
This one is about facing adversity; mainly, why God allows it, and how to deal with it correctly, rather than getting stuck in it (which is what I usually do). This might be bread and butter for some of you, but for me, it was like eating prime rib.
Click on the following link to listen to the sermon. You will have to scroll down and select, How to Advance Through Adversity – Part 2, in order to get the correct sermon:
I highly recommend it…especially if you are facing some adversity in your life right now.
I have a hearing impaired friend who reads my blog sometimes, and I remember things better if I see it in writing, so I made some Cliff Notes of the sermon. If you don’t have time to listen, and don’t know if you even want to, scroll down further to find out what the sermon is about.
How to Handle Adversity (How not to get stuck in it)
God is attempting to say something to us in every single adversity we face.
We often think of adversity as something that is painful – disappointments, losses, setbacks, etc., but these adversities have the potential to catapult us to the greatest height spiritually for whatever God is calling us to do, or achieve, if we respond to it in the proper way.
Adversity is God’s most effective tool for growing us up and maturing us.
What grows us up the most is what puts us down on our knees. Hardship, pain, suffering, trial…it is what drives us to Him, when we have nowhere else to turn.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:10
Sometimes peoples’ responses to adversity are wrong. They get bitter at people, or even at God.
Bitterness is like drinking poison and it will destroy you.
They grow cold toward God and the work of God. They clam up, stop praying, reading, etc., and they get cold and indifferent toward the things of God.
They can’t trust God when bad things happen to them. Their faith goes into a tailspin and they doubt God.
Satan knows if he can get us to doubt in one area, and keep us there long enough, he can get us to doubt in another area and we grow cold and indifferent, and start to think, “What difference does it make? What good is it to pray if God is not helping me?”
When we understand the principles of scripture, God’s ways and how He operates, it gives us the foundation to deal with it. Without a foundation, you fall through the floor. For this reason, God’s looking to build us up.
God uses adversity to get our attention. The first thing we do when faced with a difficult situations is to pray, “Lord help me.” What does it take to get our attention? Adversity.
When we respond the right way, satan loses, God wins…He gets something to happen in our lives.
God’s purpose in adversity
1) Deal with our Pride
2) Get our attention
3) Get us to hate sin
4) In our adversity, God is reminding us of our total inadequacy, weakness and dependency on Him. We get to the point that we can’t fix our own problems. We can’t do anything about it. We have to absolutely rely on him. That’s when we start growing. That’s his goal.
5) Demonstrate His faithfulness. The only way we can know He is faithful is to walk through adversity. When we don’t know what to do, when we can’t do anything, we don’t have anything going our way, we have to trust Him. God strengthens us and enables us to walk through it successfully and victoriously. We come through it, and we know that God did it–it’s not something we could do on our own strength. Then we can say, “God is absolutely faithful.”
6) Another purpose of adversity is to equip us to comfort other people. When we go through heartache, difficulty, and trials, it makes us more understanding and better able to empathize and help others. God doesn’t intend us to be independent or sufficient in ourselves. We need others. It is in our pain and suffering that he molds us. Afterwards, He will put us into a place where we can help others.
Because we have been through it and know that it was the Lord who helped us through, it leaves us no room to condemn others.
Adversity is a part of God’s diet for prepping us for service. Adversity is His primary tool for strengthening us and molding us to be strong, effective, fruitful servants of God.
Four Ways to Respond to Adversity:
1) View everything that comes your way as coming from God—not from someone else. This prevents bitterness
2) Pray: Father, what is Your goal for my life in this adversity?
3) Surrender to the unknown will of God. Surrender your life to Him no matter what.
4) Rest in His trustworthiness to see you through it. Trust Him.
He has us in his hand. He is working in our lives. He is accomplishing His purpose. We are being molded, sanded, sifted, and all of the adversity is very important toward His goal in our lives.