Archive for April, 2012


2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.


I’ve had an interesting month. Over the last few weeks I experienced a weakness like never before in my life. At the beginning of the month I twisted my back severely enough I needed medical attention and time away from the church to rest and heal. When my body was finally heading down the path of healing, my body yet again was leveled by severe illness, leading to the need for more rest and time away from the church.


As a man I felt this was an insult. I felt useless. How could my body turn against me? My desire was to find any strength to accomplish my responsibilities for the church and youth group, yet over and over my body reminded me about how weak I really was.


Then last night during the Christian Life and Witness Course, the speaker said something which put my last few weeks into perspective: Adversity has Purpose. The pain and weaknesses of life we face have purpose. The sorrow and grief we encounter, the trials and temptations we face are points within our lives to strengthen our resolve and relationship with God.


James 1:4 says, “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. …” It doesn’t seem logical by human standards but we gain from the adversity we encounter. The purpose of Adversity is to build character and dependence on God. And when we face adversity, our faith strengthens and our reliance on God increases.


As I pondered these thoughts, my mind went to the bible character Joseph (Genesis 37-50). Joseph was a man whose life was filled with adversity. He had a great dream from God to be used in a mighty way, yet the path to greatness lead through adversity. He was hated by his brothers, thrown into a hole, sold as a slave, propositioned by his master’s wife, wrongly accused and thrown into prison, and forgotten for two long years. Finally, he was released from prison, and used by God to bring salvation to Egypt and the surrounding world. What kept Joseph going? Perseverance. And as his perseverance grew so did his character and trust in God. Joseph allowed life’s adversities to be a stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks.


So here are the nuts and bolts of the issue: when we are approached by adversity, whatever form it may take, do we see it as a stepping stone with purpose or a stumbling block of frustration? I’ll be transparent. When my back was out and I was told by many wise people to rest and heal, I saw my adversity as a stumbling block to my life. I hated the thought of sitting still and taking time to rest. I literally felt useless. But when my body became ill,  weakened, and forced to rest, I started to see my adversity for what it could be; an opportunity for growth and maturity. It was a humbling moment to admit my weakness. But the more I humbled myself, the more dependent I became on God


When you face trials and tribulations within your life, when adversity comes knocking on your door, how will you respond? Will it be met with gratitude for opportunity to grow and mature or will it hold you back? Adversity has purpose. The question is will you allow life’s adversities to mature your character in Christ and strengthen your faith in Him?


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