The Pain and Gain of Adversity


"….. in the day of adversity consider:" (Ecclesiastes 7:14a) 

Adversities come in a complexity of shapes - failure in health, financial losses, frustrating relationships; family trouble or fearful events just to name a few. Predictably they appear on the scene without the simplicity of one-size fits all. The majority arrive at the doorstep of our lives, unannounced, and without prior arrangement or a confirmed appointment. 

Like door-to-door salesmen they just happen to be in the area… in such an inconvenient time! When they drop in on us, for what may seem to be some "unknown reason ", and visit us in the most "unexpected seasons", they usually bring with them their unwanted problems and overstay their unwelcomed presence.

Some Adversities can make you lean back and laugh; that is when you read about them, not when you experience them yourself. Like the man who called suicide prevention and was put on hold…..or the driver of the car whose horn went off accidentally and remained stuck as he followed a group of Hell's Angels bikies on the freeway.

Some decent folks are so focused in their pursuit for any measure of relief from their ongoing agony that they search anxiously for that miracle of "instant healing from their constant pain". These dear souls may turn to an author of a book for counsel, or try the advice of a magazine article. Unable to sleep, they may tune in to a late night talk back radio, or trust an early morning religious personality on TV. Sadly as these desperate seekers sometimes find and fall over 'false teachers" whose purposes are selfish, positions are silly and practices are sinful, they become more disappointed and hurt. Their wound deepens and their pain increases because of some of "over-promising and under-delivering" self- styled guru

The truth, on the other hand and all along, is altogether quite different story .The Bible, God's inspired revelation and final authority regarding life here on earth and the hereafter in eternity, never guaranteed nor even promised a life without adversity. In fact, in Psalm 11: 6 it is the wicked "who hath said in his heart…. I shall never be in adversity".

In this life, one may find a hundred ways to express hurt, frustration or fear. However, whether it is disappointment or disability, suffering or sorrow, rejection or rebellion, trials or tribulation, one still has the God-given responsibility and ability to make the RIGHT choice-that is, to respond rather to react. This contrast is clearly illustrated in the lives of the Biblical characters of Job and Jonah of the Old Testament. You too may choose either to 
1. Respond to the clear and dear voice of faith like Job, and Trust God with your life.
"Though he slay me yet will I trust in him…" (Job 13:15a). or
2. React to the confusing and cheap noise of feelings like Jonah, and ask God to take your life away. "Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live." (Jonah 4:3).

The consequences depend on the choice that you make, 
not the circumstances that you find yourself in.

If you chase the fleeting shadow of Jonah, your only hope of comfort is found in self-pity. Inevitably this will push you into the pit of despair, and all you're left with is FEELING sorry for yourself. The deceived one who goes down this path is writing off his or her earthly existence as an everlasting excuse.

Rather choose to follow the fine steps of Job, who trusted God even though he suffered greatly. First he lost all of his wealth and his children in just one day. Further he was smitten from head to foot with sore boils. Furthermore his servants turned their backs on him, the children in the streets despised and mocked him, and his friends accused him unfairly. Finally if that were not enough, his wife nagged him to curse God and die. Yet Job's response was "Though he slay me yet will I trust in him."(Job 13:15a) 
God trusted Job with adversity
Job trusted God in adversity

You too can trust God in the day of adversity because:
GOD KNOWS - "thou has known my soul in adversities". (Psalm.31: 7b)
GOD CARES - "Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you". (1 Peter 5: 7)
GOD HAS A PURPOSE - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose". (Romans 8:28) 

Trust GOD, not your feelings. Put your faith in HIM because: 
"….With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27)
"….For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37)
"…The things which are impossible with men are possible with God"(Luke 18:27b)
"….Be not afraid, only believe." (Mark 5:36)

If you have never before trusted The Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour,
or, you are not sure of heaven as your eternal destiny,
then let me urge you, to do it now. 
With a sincere and a believing heart,
call on God's grace and mercy, through the love of Christ on Calvary.

Here is a suggested prayer:

I trust God to use the words of the following song, to challenge your heart and mind, and to change your habits and manners. My prayer to God, and desire for you, is that this, my personal testimony will nourish your mind, and nurture your soul. 
May the thoughts expressed be a source of inspiration as to stop you from falling sideward or backward and to support you as you move onward and forward. 

Oh to trust you Lord
"When I feel that You're miles away, yet Your word says that You're here to stay.
As I make up my choice to listen to your voice and let go of my fearful emotions.
I begin to see things quite differently and enjoy your life and liberty,
As I bow before Your throne and look to You alone, every day with love and devotion.
Oh to trust you Lord with all of my heart and soul
You're so wonderful and good, and to love you the way that I should.
Oh to love you Lord with all of my heart and soul
You're so wonderful and good, and to trust you the way that I should.

IN CLOSING- King David wrote in the psalms:" It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." (Psalm 119:71)
How often we have allowed, the shock of disappointments or the pain of rejection, the testing of misunderstandings or the sorrow of set backs, to make us BITTER, RESENTFUL and cause us to miss out on BETTER RESULTS and outcome.
Because of our faulty thinking & faithless trust, we let a variety of trials and difficulties in our homes, churches and the workplace, steer us away from the truth and get us off track, chasing fruitless tasks.

Do not get so discouraged as to give up, and in the process miss out on the great privilege of knowing GOD better and deeper in your relationship with HIM.

As you trust GOD in the day of adversity,
GOD in HIS time will turn
Your nightmare into sweet dreams

While locked up in a Bedford prison cell, John Bunyan expressed his trust and experienced this truth first hand as GOD gave and entrusted him with the immortal PILGRIM 's PROGRESS.

Oh I almost forgot…"the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: Job 42:12a) "After this lived Job a hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations." (Job 42:16)

With the love of Christ
Peter Rahme

Peter Rahme AD 2001. Published by "KNOW GROW & SHOW"-The Literature Ministry of Inner West Baptist Church. 40 Cardigan Road Greenacre NSW 2190 Australia Tel (+61 2) 97425716 ; Fax (+61 2) 97425715;