“But he said to her ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks, Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10)
Life isn’t easy for anyone. Regardless of who we are, where we’ve come from, or what we have, we experience trials and tribulations of many kinds to varying degrees. Often times if feels as though we are either in a storm, just got out of a storms, or a storm is on the way. Whether you walk with God or not, life is full of adversity. The key to not only surviving it, but thriving in it, is understanding adversity’s purpose in our lives.
Job was a man from the land of Uz who feared God and turned away from evil. He was considered blameless and upright in the sight of God, yet went through a period of his life in which he experienced a great deal of adversity. He lost his material possessions, lost his sons and daughters, and lost his health. However, instead of cursing God he understood that God’s the Creator and we are merely the created. God doesn’t owe us anything while we, on the other hand, owe Him everything. Job understood that all he had was never his to begin with by stating “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised”.
It’s very important to notice the words Job chose to use when relaying his tribulations to his wife. He asks if we can only accept good from God and not adversity. He never said good versus bad. Therefore adversity and bad are two different things, and having the ability to recognize that is key to thriving in tribulation. Adversity, though painful to go through, is not a bad thing. Rather it’s a tool used to measure our faith or lack thereof. All our bible studies, all our in-depth learning, all our examination into the lives of the believers, apostles, disciples, and first century Christians mean nothing if we can’t put what we’ve learned into action in our lives. It’s easy to say “God is good” when life’s going well, but what happens when we lose our jobs or unexpectedly bury a loved one? How does our faith in God measure up then? How is our inward attitude effected by our outward circumstances? Are we able to see God’s grace in every situation? Do we fully understand our purpose?
God created us because He has a plan for our lives. We may’ve been cut, we may’ve been bruised, we may’ve become weak, we may’ve made mistakes, and been through failures, but we have a purpose. We are children of the King, and our adversity is meant to strengthen us and give definition to our character. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people, and adversity helps prepare our souls with a unique and powerful source of strength.
It’s also a constant reminder that we can’t do it alone, and that we don’t have to. We need God to help lead the way, and He’s more than willing to. Sometimes it feels as though we’re sheep amongst the wolves. We can see the wolves, hearing the gnashing of their teeth and the sound of their hoofs as they chase after us, but that doesn’t mean they’ll overtake us. God is the Good Shepard, greater than any problem we may face. He leads us through the darkest of nights, and the most treacherous of paths.
Accepting adversity in our lives means preparing ourselves for heaven. It means fixing our eyes on Christ and not being distracted by the temporal trials of this life. It means trusting that our God will deliver us from any and every kind of pain. I urge you not to let the momentary sufferings of this life keep you from finishing the course. It might not be easy, and you may not finish pretty…but finish.
We come to God by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), believing what we’ve heard (Hebrews 11:6), repenting, which is turning from living for self to living for God (Luke 13:3), confessing that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior (Matt 10:32-33), and being baptized (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Mark 16:15-16, and Romans 6:1-6)