So why does God allow, permit and/or approve adversity in our already hectic lives?! I know for a fact we have all pondered this question and to be completely transparent, I think it depends on the situation. What I do know is that God has never left me hanging during difficult times in my life!
When we take a hard look at our life’s challenges in light of what Christ did for us by providing salvation, the difficulties we experience in life takes on a whole new meaning! Adversity becomes a means through which God works to accomplish His will in our lives: to shape us so that we reflect the character of Christ. (See Romans 8:28–30.) On the basis of this purpose, all adversity “works together” for our good and God’s glory.
What we also know about adversity is that it definitely raptures our attention, remind us our weaknesses, motivates us to cry out to God, motivates us to to trust God, it strengthens our hatred toward sin, it calls us to examine our motives, purifies our faith, it calls us to pray, it calls us to evaluate our priorities, it appraises the integrity of our work, it test our relationships, it exposes pride, it prepare us to comfort others, and adversity invites us to experience the power of God!
One of the ultimate purposes of adversity is to cause us to desire more of Christ’s power in our lives. Troubles reveal that on our own we can’t live in a way that honors God. We need to rely on God and receive His grace. Paul willingly suffered the loss of all things so that he might gain more of Christ and experience the power of Christ’s resurrection. In Philippians 3:8-11 he said: “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”
Let’s be honest, adversity keeps us on our toes and it forces us to bring our “A” game to the court or field of life! How we weather tumultuous storms exposes the structural integrity of the foundation we have built our lives on. We all know that life does not go as planned, and hard times are a part of that. It is how we react that matters. It is how we move forward with renewed vision that matters. It is what we do with it that matters.
With that said, there is no situation that is 100% bad. Every obstacle we face has the ability to be spun, to be learned from. As we fall, we learn and our faith in God grows stronger and in turn we become more resilient and we get stronger for our next challenge. C.S. Lewis said, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”