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Adversity is Our Friend

I could name off dozens of women right now who are walking through extremely tough things. Seasons of unending loneliness, betrayal by trusted friends, the heartbreak of a prodigal child, the loss of a marriage, a husband’s infidelity, a husband’s porn addiction, a child with a terminal illness . . . I could go on and probably you could, too. In fact, you may be in one of those tragic circumstances right now.

You may be enduring a winter of suffering with no hope for spring. You may be there from no choice of your own and are facing loss because of the sinful path another has chosen. But no matter how you entered this season of adversity, you did not enter it alone, and you do not walk it without purpose.

Adversity is an unwelcome friend but make no mistake, adversity is our friend.

That may sound like an oxymoron . . . a ridiculous assertion or perhaps a typo. You may be thinking I left out the word “not” or that I got confused and inserted the wrong phrase after my conjunction, or chose the wrong predicate noun to complete the sentence. Nope, you read it right:

Make no mistake, adversity is our friend.

That’s why James tells us to rejoice when we enter the winter of suffering:

[box]“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds . . .” (James 1:2)[/box]

He goes on to describe the intended outcome of adversity: steadfastness and spiritual maturity.

James also explains the difference between temptation and testing. Temptation never comes from God and is never for our benefit. Testing however, often in the form of adversity, is for the purpose of spiritual growth and ultimately for God’s glory.

Cling to this promise during seasons of suffering:

[box]After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)[/box]

When we fight against the process, when we choose to harden our hearts or rail against God’s intentions, when we proceed through adversity with a victim mentality rather than as a student of God’s ways . . . we’ll miss the benefits of adversity.

In the storm, through the winter of suffering, in the face of tragedy, that is when God desires for us to come up closer to Him, to reach a new level of trusting Him, and to allow Him to do the work of establishing and perfecting that He knows is needed.

What is your season of adversity that you are facing right now?

What is God teaching you as you walk through the storm?

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2 Comments

  • Robyne

    Your posts are always encouraging to me. Thank you for sharing truth in such an honest and real way. I have been walking a hard road for sometime now- from years of my husbands alcohol addiction to his suicide death a year and a half ago… now raising 3 boys on my own and trying to balance an overwhelmingly full schedule- and readjusting to life like I never imagined before.

    I used to think “It can’t get any worse”… and then it would, over and over again. That forced me to take my eyes off of my circumstances and fix them firmly onto my faithful God, who never did leave me or forsake me, and who is using all of this for our good and for His Glory. He truly is enough- no matter what is going on in my life- and my faith is being strengthened in ways I never thought possible and I am becoming more and more connected, sensitive, desiring of Him- His presence, His guidance, His love, His voice, His way in my life. I am learning that I don’t have to understand to be able to trust Him, and that He will see me through.
    There are still overwhelmingly hard and lonely days and I get caught thinking sometimes “Isn’t this enough already Lord?” or “maybe I was wrong… maybe there is no point in all of this” or longing for my old life and old ways because it was easier (or seems so looking back) But I know the truth is that He does have Purpose in all of this. I am not left alone, and in His strength I can persevere and stand strong. I trust Him fully and do not want to compromise His best in my life and I know that He has a plan for me that will out do anything I could possibly ask or imagine. Waiting is HARD- but His timing is Perfect. I am so Weak and I struggle and fall, but His Strength is perfected in my weakness, and He helps me get up and Press On a little stronger each time. He is tender and merciful- yet jealous for me, and won’t let me go back to my old way of life. This is the most difficult journey I have ever been on, and could ever imagine, but by his Grace- His Great Grace- I KNOW I will make it.
    Thank you again for your encouraging posts- they are making a difference in my walk, and helping to reconfirm the truth that I know, but sometimes lose sight of when the going does get tough.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dear Robyne ~

    Thank you for sharing such a precious word here. Thank you for letting us share in your pain (and in your joy) by opening up with some of your story. I’ve never walked your road, but it is encouraging for me to know that, although our seasons of adversity look quite different, our faithful Savior meets us in that pain to do the same work that is necessary, to train, affirm, comfort, and direct us.

    I have no doubt that God is using you to minister to others and will use what has been so painful in your life, to minister comfort, grace, and a greater knowledge of Him, in the lives of women who are watching you–but especially in your sons’ lives.

    Thank you so much for letting me know how God is using the posts to speak to you–that is such an encouragement to me to keep pressing on when I’m not even sure if anyone is reading.

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:3–5)

    Pausing to pray for you now, friend. May you be strengthened and refreshed in the Word today ~