James 1: 2-4 says: ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’
The truth of this passage was raised in church this week when the pastor told the congregation that ‘adversity is good for you.’ Well, we were not jumping and shouting ‘Hallelujah!’ when he said that, because no one likes adversity. It’s a bit like: Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die!
But Jesus said we’d have problems (John 16:33). Nobody can escape this truth. Solve one problem and another is waiting to take its place. Problems are necessary if we must grow spiritually. How do you measure the strength of anything? By testing it! I Peter 4:12-13 says ‘…don’t be shocked that you are going through testing….It will prepare you’
Our most life-changing experiences will often come during our darkest days, when our hearts are broken, we are fearful, we feel abandoned, we are out of options and our pain levels are through the roof. That is when we turn to God. That is often when we pray heart-felt, honest-to-God prayers. When you are in pain, you do not have the time and energy for superficial prayers. David wrote: ‘The Lord is close to the broken hearted…’ (Psalm 34:18).
Our problems force us to look up to God and depend on him instead of ourselves. You will never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got! So today, place all your needs into His capable, loving hands, and watch what happens. Any move towards total self-sufficiency is always a move away from God. Embrace adversity.