Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful for Adversity?

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes." - Psalm 119:71

We all want a trouble free life. I mean...who ever prays for adversity? Yet... adversity is a very common visitor in all our lives.

 I know that God is sovereign, so when troubles come my way...my first petition in prayer is for the Lord to free me from all the entanglements it is causing! When my troubles do not disappear...my thoughts and prayers may linger back to words for His resolution to my distress, but, I also begin to pray for the Lord to reveal what He has purposed in my having this adversity.

You see...I believe if the Lord is allowing adversity...He has a purpose in it. I have learned God can be trusted in providing His courage to meet any challenge life brings... giving generously His wisdom and strength as well. 

Oh, I may think I desire to live the remainder of my life within the confines of my "comfort zone" without one more adverse "thing" touching me. It even sounds like a reasonable request until I consider the fact that I can't recall one time I called out for God to give me His strength to endure my comfort! 

So, I have to wonder...how weak in faith would I become if I never needed God's strength again?  Isn't it even possible, that my continual comfort would become so common to my life as to cause me to forget how sweet its relief feels after a battle won with adversity?   

The example set by the apostle Paul gives me great encouragement to seek God's purpose in my troubles. When he suffered, he also prayed that God would take it away. God's answer was, instead of taking it away, giving Paul His grace to live with the adversity. Paul shares with us how he understood; When he was weak in himself, he was strong in Christ (2 Corinthians 12:10). 

I want to respond like Paul did...  in that, he was able to recognize a positive outcome from his adversity.

It's natural to ask God to solve the adversities in this life and desire it's resolution. However, I desire for it to be just as natural in me to be found asking God; 

"Lord, please show me something in this adversity for which I can be thankful to You for... Something I wouldn't have experienced... without the pain." 

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."  - C. S. Lewis     



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