Apr 3, 2017
WOFCF Bible Explosion
What are God’s purposes for allowing adversity in my life? – Lesson Two
Point #1Adversity is an assurance of God’s fatherly love and care
Wise discipline brings a child to maturity. Just as a loving father helps his children learn and grow through the discipline he carries out in their lives, so God uses adversity to help us grow in holiness and become more like Him. When we persevere through hardship, we have proof that we are God’s children.
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons (and daughters); for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed (Hebrews 12:6–13).
Point #2 Adversity motivates us to fear the Lord
Adversity reminds us that God is present and we are accountable to Him for our every thought, word, and action. God’s Word reveals that the fear of the Lord is the key to life, wisdom, and lasting achievement. (See Proverbs 9:10, 14:27, and 22:4.) If we lose our awareness of God and begin to think and act as if He does not exist, God often allows painful reminders of our need for Him, just as He did with the nation of Israel.
“The anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: that through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not” (Judges 2:20–22).
Point #3 Adversity strengthens our hatred for sin
The pain of adversity helps us recognize the deception of sin. Our hatred of evil will increase when we realize how sin keeps us from living in a way that honors God and how it damages the lives of those we love. God wants us to know that He will not ignore sin. “. . . God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7–8).
If we could only perceive the final cost of our sin, we would shrink from committing it. Therefore, in His mercy God exposes secret sin, and He allows others to see its devastating consequences. In this way, we are warned not to be fooled by “. . . the pleasures of sin,” which last for a season. (See Hebrews 11:25.)
Point #4 Adversity is a call for self-examination
Many cause-and-effect sequences are recorded in Scripture for our instruction and warning. When we experience specific difficulties in our lives, we should discern if they are consequences of sin. The observance of the Lord’s Supper is a time when God calls us to self-examination. As we regularly remember Jesus’ sacrifice, we are to seriously consider our behavior in light of God’s Word.
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (I Corinthians 11:28–30).