Apr 26, 2017
WOFCF Bible Explosion
What are God’s purposes for allowing adversity in my life? – Lesson 4
Point #1Adversity is a signal to reevaluate priorities
In troubled times, we need to consider our priorities and discern if we are spending enough time preserving the most important aspects of our lives: our relationships with God and others. We should regularly evaluate the health of our relationships and invest the time and effort needed to maintain them honorably. When we do not spend time with God, memorizing and meditating on His Word, and praying, we miss out on one of the most important means God uses to give us wisdom and to change our hearts. We also rob others of the spiritual encouragement, direction, and testimonies we could share if we were faithfully spending time with God. Adversity that comes because of having wrong priorities may be the consequence of trying to do more than God intended for us to do. (Read Psalm 127:2).
Point #2 Adversity reveals if our work will last
How we weather the storms of life shows what we have built our lives on. Jesus gave this example: “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24–27).
The Apostle Paul explained to the Corinthians that each person’s work will be tested. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (I Corinthians 3:13–15).
Point #3 Adversity tests our friendships
The strain of adversity impacts relationships. Hard times reveal if people want to get or to give. Fair-weather friends won’t endure the test of trials and difficulties, but true friends will remain to offer support, comfort, and encouragement in the midst of challenges (See Proverbs 17:17).
True, lasting friendship is described in the Biblical account of David and Jonathan. “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (I Samuel 18:1). When adversity shook David’s world, Jonathan could have rejected David for many reasons. Instead, he remained a faithful friend to David until the end of his life. Jonathan befriended, encouraged, warned, and protected David, accepting him as the one who would be the king of Israel in his place. When Jonathan died, David was deeply grieved (Read II Samuel 1:26).
Point #4 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. (See Philippians 3:8–10). God works within the Christian in a mighty way, making him dead to sin and alive in Christ and enabling him to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit rather than according to fleshly desires. (Read Romans 6–8.) For the church of Ephesus, Paul prayed (See Ephesians 1:17–23).
Point #5 Adversity prepares us to comfort others
One of the most valuable results of adversity is that through it we receive God’s comfort, which we are then able to share with others who face similar troubles (Read II Corinthians 1:3–5). Suffering brings pain, but it is not an end in itself (See II Corinthians 4:8, 10, 12, 16).