Following Jesus in Times of Adversity

When we decide to follow Jesus; the Bible is clear that we are born again of the Spirit of God, our sins have been forgiven, we have a home in Heaven , and a new life before us.  This is where the struggle for many comes in. The world we live in is still broken. We still make mistakes and bad things sometimes happen to people who don’t seem to deserve it.  That’s called adversity. Adversity doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you.  It isn’t necessarily connected to a mistake you’ve made or anything you’ve done.  But one thing is certain, God loves you and He has a plan for your life!

It is not because of a lack of faith to embrace adversity.  Adversity is one of the great instructors of life.  Allow me to illustrate it this way, I think of adversity as adding a verse.  I found Jesus and God gave me a verse.  I got sick, God healed me and He added a verse to me through my adversity. When I struggled with finances, I found out not only is He savior and Healer, He is also a provider. And the adversity continues, but so does the song!

One of the pitfalls of adversity is that we might be more likely to believe what someone else says about our circumstances than what God says.  I want to give a reminder that especially in these times the devil will try to deceive us. Remember that the devil has only three basic lies: God does not know about the situation you are in, God does not care about what you are going through, and finally- God cannot do anything about it.  Be mindful also that people may discourage us.  Remember that some people seem to have a Life-O-Suction ability.  Every person you know may not be pursuing the full life that God has for them.  Some will be more committed to the traps and traditions of their past instead of their future in Jesus.

So what can we do?  First of all we need to answer Jesus’ call to “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NKJV).  Our general bent in adversity is to frantically attempt to strive for a better situation, we have to hear that call and answer.  It is not a call to work double, it is a beckon of comfort to rest in His finished work.  Paul teaches in Hebrews 4 that if we are striving, it should only be to remain in the state of resting in what Jesus has already done.  Secondly, the scripture instructs: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV).  The scripture says keep your mind stayed on Jesus, and He will give you peace.  It actually says – “perfect peace”.  It’s an interesting to note “perfect peace” is translated from repetition of the word “shalom” meaning completeness and peace in the original Hebrew text.  The literal meaning: double peace rests on those who unwaveringly put their trust on Jesus. And finally, we are taught “and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore” (Ephesians 6:13b,14a)”  When all has been done to stand in adversity, keep standing.  God is not finished with you yet!

Embrace your adversity.  Make Jesus the trusted foundation and finished work of your life.

Remember: Come to Him, Stay in Him, Stand in Him!