I have written regularly about the lessons that I learned from my mom. She deliberately took time, thought ahead, and cut life up into small, understandable chunks…so I could understand life, and especially God, better. But I believe her greatest teachings (both deliberate and through example) were about adversity…the storms of our lives.
Mom was no stranger to adversity…mother of fourteen children who lived on the cusp of poverty most of her child-rearing years, she experience enough adversity to break the spirits of 10 people. But through each of the many tribulations, she maintained a calm and peace that was simply beyond belief.
Mom often talked of the misconception of most Christians; that Christian life means being delivered from all adversity. She would explain her view very clearly; that we are not delivered from, but rather IN, adversity.
She quoted scripture which taught us that we should expect adversity…but that there was nothing to fear if you were a child of God. She believed that the strain of life is what builds our strength…that facing into the strain actually gives strength…that God does not give us an overcoming life, but He gives us life as we overcome.
Today, give some thought to the adversity you are facing. Try to think if you ever got better or stronger at anything without work, effort, pain, or adversity. I know I haven’t. Read the scripture below and be mindful that Jesus told us that we would have trouble, but also to “take heart” for He has overcome the world.
Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community about growing through adversity. Click here for past devo on adversity.
Dear Father God, I know, Father, that Your Holy Spirit’s work in my life offers deep and lasting peace. Thank You, Lord. Unlike worldly peace which is defined by lack of adversity; Your peace offers confident assurance in all situations. Fill me with more of Your Spirit, Father, to help me to restrain the hostile forces of sin, fear, doubt…uncertainty. I pray in the name of the one You sent to deliver me IN my biggest and most dangerous adversity, eternal separation from You, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
…to him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.