– Zig Ziglar
Adversity Humbles Us
Paul would have never come to trust in Christ unless He first humbled him. God had to first personally encounter him and then temporarily blinded him. Only after he was humbled did Paul ask “Lord, what do You want me to do” (Acts 9:6). Is that something we ask the Lord, “Lord, what would you have me do?” God cannot use a man or woman greatly until He has first humbled them fully since God will resist every proud human and will only give His grace to those who humble themselves (James 4:6).
Adversity Makes Us Repent
How many times have you read the vicious cycle of prosperity, success, idolatry, captivity and then God freeing them from captivity, only to start the cycle all over again. If God had not sent them into captivity, that adversity would have never brought about their repentance, just as Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 8:2: “… you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.”
Adversity Makes Us Stronger
When we experience tests and trials, they can either break us or make us stronger–that’s the purpose behind adversity. Peter writes, “… you have been grieved by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:6b-7). Adversity proves whether our faith is real or not, whether it’s genuine or just in words alone. This faith of ours is tested and refined in the fires of adversity that will “result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Adversity Makes Us Rely on God
I don’t need a Bible verse to tell you how when we get into impossible spots in life, our only way out is for God to intervene. When we come to the end of our rope, we discover that God has been waiting there all the time. God wants us to rely on Him and not on ourselves. Adversity sometimes forces us down to the ground where the only place we can look is up.
Adversity Teaches Us
Believe it or not, adversity teaches us that God is faithful. It is true that everything that happens to us, good or bad, will always work out for our very best (Rom. 8:28). Adversity should make us look back on our lives and remember how often God came through for us in the past to pull us out of the fires because He never forsakes us or leaves us (Heb. 13:5), even though we often forsake Him. I can look back on my own life and remember how many times God did some pretty amazing things. When adversity comes, it teaches me to remember how many times God came through. Trust God; He is faithful.
Adversity may not feel like our friend, but it humbles us when we need it; it makes us repent if need be; it makes us stronger and strengthens our faith in God; it forces us to rely on God, for there is no other way out; and it teaches us to remember just how faithful God has been and will be yet again. Indeed, it is true–sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.