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Stepping Stones: Delivered in…not from Adversity?

Stepping Stones: Delivered in…not from Adversity?
January 6, 2011 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Thought

I have written regularly about the lessons that I learned from my mom. She deliberately took time, thought ahead, and cut up life into small, understandable chunks…so I could better understand life, and especially God. I believe her greatest teachings (both deliberate and through example) were about adversity…the storms of our lives.

Mom was no stranger to adversity. She was a mother of fourteen children who lived on the cusp of poverty most of her child-rearing years, and experienced enough adversity to break the spirits of 10 people. But through each tribulation she focused on God and saw her circumstances through His eyes most of the time, leading to a calm and peace that was simply beyond belief.

Mom often talked of one misconception Satan tricks most Christians into believing: that being a Christian or following God correctly will excuse you or deliver you from all adversity. Our me-centered, comfort driven heart easily buys into the misconception that life without adversity is possible.

She would explain her view very clearly: 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 draws us closer to Him, makes us more dependent on Him, and builds our strength through accessing the power of the Holy Spirit…that facing into the strain actually gives strength…that God does not give us an overcoming life…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 putting in work or effort, or experiencing any 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. When you face adversity, look at it as opportunity. This Godly perspective will dramatically empower your next steps.

Prayer
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. Help me to restrain the hostile forces of sin, fear, doubt, and 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!

The Truth
“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.”
John 16:33

…to him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:7

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.
Philippians 1:6

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