Adversity

Are you having problems? Are you in big trouble? Does everything seemed to be going wrong? Well, glad to hear it! Does that sound callous? Maybe, maybe not!

Sometimes, the best things in life are adversities. Where do adversities come from? They come from Our Father in Heaven. And this is not to say that God is mean and vindictive, but it is to say that God knows what's best for us. One of the worse situations for a human to be in is to have a life that runs so smoothly they hardly need to pay any attention to it. People need to have adversity to reach their potential as made in the image of God.

Some time ago Our Father in Heaven beset an ancient nation them with every kind of distress. He handed them over to their enemies who oppressed them. And, they finally cried out to the living God in Heaven.

Our Father in Heaven afflicted Israel many times. He brought disasters on Egypt, Babylon and others. Why did Our Father afflict so many people and so many nations over time?

Adversity Is Caused by Sin

Most people are looking to avoid the consequences of their bad actions. And, in this society, most consequences are indeed avoidable, particularly legally and medically. Many criminals are either not caught or do not receive deserved punishment when they are caught. Others take chances with their health because they think drugs, surgery or radiation will cure them despite their carelessness. Drivers, although driving safer vehicles, pushed them to their limits of safety, and suffer the consequences therein.

However, Our Father in Heaven is not as permissive as society. He makes sure that trouble catches up with every troublemaker. Every sin results in a variety of punishments — ranging from sickness to death. And the only time Our Father in Heaven breaks the cycle of damnation is when a person completely repents of wrongdoing, that is, breaking any or all the 10 commandments.

Adversity Comes From Making Wrong Choices

Our Father in Heaven gives us opportunities to help those in need or who are in trouble. When we fail to take the advantage of these opportunities, He often sees to it that we end up in the same dire straits. When people make these wrong choices, they might cry out that these disasters come upon them because
their God is not with them. It takes inspiration from God, so these people realize why He is not with them.

When sin results in devastation, ones selfishness might be replacesd by kindness. Our Father in Heaven hopes that we will repent and turn to him to be saved.

Testing

Sometimes, Our Father in heaven wants us to know how strongly committed we are to Him. He, thus, tests us. He tests us when we feed the hungry, offer water to the parched, invite strangers into our homes. If we are unreliable in any area, Our Father in Heaven will reveal that weakness by fire, if necessary, so that we will repent and stand up for His way.

James reveals that when we persevere under trial, we are blessed by eternal life. So any suffering we endure — persecutions or imprisonments — results in a crown of life.

Do Unto Others

When we do unto others as we would want them to do to us, we receive our just desserts (misspelled on purpose). But, when we realize that the pie was made of mud, we might change and treat others as if they were us. When we value another’s life, Our
Father in Heaven values ours. When we give food, water and shelter to others, Our Father in Heaven, sees that we are blessed, abundantly, with the good things in life.

When we refuse to rejoice in the misfortune of others, even deservedly, when we cry in the destruction of our enemies, Our Father in Heaven keeps us out of trouble, unless we need adversity to build us up.

Adversity Brings People Close to Our Father in Heaven

If adversity merely brought us near to Our Father in Heaven, it is worth all of its anguish, for what could be more important to us than that close personal contact with and dependence on Him.

When the children of Israel cried out to Our Father in Heaven while enslaved in Egypt for four hundred years, He sent His angel to set His People free. With that freedom came a plethora of blessings to them and through them to us. Among these benefits was the Passover, the Ten Commandments, the knowledge of God’s name and nature, and the information about His Holy Days. While we did not have to live all those years in captivity, their sacrifice brought them and us closer to Our Father in Heaven than ever before.

David praised Our Father in Heaven with great eloquence because He rescued him again and again. David said that the words of his mouth and his meditation must be acceptable to the redeeming God. He said that his lips will shout for joy because God rescued him.

Adversity Causes People to Listen to the Word of God

Once Our Father in Heaven has our attention due to adversity, and He draws us close to Him, then we are ready to listen to him. Why should those who lives are moving along without a single problem ever need to bother with God? Well, there are some who are inclined to God’s Word anyway. Besides, who has a life without problems or adversities? So for those who need Our Father in Heaven to intervene in their lives, listen! Our Father in Heaven has a lot to tell you, in the pages of His Holy Word.

Job notes that peoples’ ears are opened by adversity. Obviously, when things are gone awry, we are ready to hear the things that will make the bad go away. Isaiah says when Our Father in Heaven gives people the bread of adversity, He will also send a teacher to instruct them in the way to go. Jesus explains that his sheep will hear his voice and follow him.

God’s Word Encourages Repentance

Oh, oh! A person might remark upon learning of the causes of his troubles — his sins and foibles — from the pages of the Bible. It is time to get with the program.

Recent history gives an apt example. When in the nineteen thirties the depression devastated the country, drought drained the country of its water and food, and war broke out in Europe, too close for comfort. In these times, most people look at themselves and wonder what they did wrong. Most people know basic good and bad; and these people repented of their ways. But, it took a protracted war to end the adversity. Most Americans, thereby, became kinder, braver, and better in every way. They changed.

But, the good times beginning in the mid forties, the fifties, and early sixties until now, have left much of America forgetful of the adversities and disasters that result from selfishness and sin. Can we guess what will happen? You bet! How many people do you know that don’t need adversity?

But, once people repent in sincere tears, they cry out to Our Father in Heaven because of their troubles. Then Our Father in Heaven teaches the repentant about His lovingkindness (chesedness).

Our Father Answers Us

Adversity, as said above, should bring us closer to Our Father in Heaven, who knows that we need some adversity to bring us close to him, so that when we repent and pray to God for help to get out of our troubles, he hears and answers us. When we look at the wonderful world God created for us with its wonderful sights, sounds, scents, foods, animals, plants, we can see how much God loves to bless people. So everytime we repent and draw near to God, He is thrilled to be able to accept that repentance and bless us abundantly.
Our Father in Heaven Saves

Whatever adversity comes upon us, be it calamity, the sword of judgment, plagues, or famine, we quickly come before our Father in Heaven and cry out to him, and swiftly as lightning courses across the sky, Our Father in Heaven saves us from our distress. He is a refuge for the oppressed and a stronghold in times of trouble. After Our Father sees our affliction and learns of our anguish, he rescues us, and we rejoice in His love. He is our refuge and an ever present help when we are in trouble. Our Father said that he will surely deliver us for good purposes and make our enemies plead with us in times of disaster and distress.

When Our Father in Heaven saves us from all the trouble we get ourselves into, and He rescues us, it brings great honor upon Him. It further advances His reputation among all the people we meet.

When Our Father in Heaven saves us from the consequences of our wrong headedness, we learn to depend upon Him instead of our own wayward ways or some fallible human. Our Father in Heaven is our strength in the morning and all day long. He is our safe haven in a world swirling with storms.

People’s Repentance Gives Our Father in Heaven the Opportunity to Bless the Faithful

Our Father in Heaven loves to bless people. Look at the wonderful world He created for us. Even the night sky with its myriad of stars has esthetic beauty as well as functionality. I am always amazed at the grapefruit our small tree produces, more than we can eat, so then we can share His largess with others. His generosity is obvious for all to see.

How much more will Our Father in Heaven bless the faithful? He brought the faithful Israelites into the land of milk and honey. Jesus said that he came to bring life and life more abundantly. While spiritual blessings surpass the physical, Our Father in Heaven made us physical and will also bless us physically as we need.

Our Father in Heaven will do almost anything to get us to repent so He can bless us, even give us adversities.

Adversity Inspires People to Lovingkindness

Overcome with gratitude for all Our Father in Heaven does for those turning to righteousness, they, in turn, cannot help returning His goodness by helping others in need. They create, not a vicious, but a benevolent cycle. And, as they serve the needy, they learn another fact: Our Father in Heaven pours out more blessings on them because they cast their bread upon the water.

Like the good Samaritan, they refuse to pass the troubled without coming to their assistance. While they remember the bad times, they keep changing for the better and producing many blessing for themselves and others. Just as Jesus will never leave or forsake his people, they learn from him and do likewise — stay near to the needy

Adversity Brings Out People’s Strength

Most do not like adversity, but rarely does adversity bare bitter fruit. While some do faint in times of adversity, most learn and grow from the experience. If nothing else, a thoughtful person uses adversity to consider that the same God who brings blessings also brings adversity for people’s good. From Israel to Ninevah, adversity weeded out the evil and encouraged the faithful.

There is a saying in tennis: don’t keep hitting the ball to a person’s weakness, like his back hand, because he will learn to handle it. Satan makes that mistake. It thinks that it can keep tempting people with the same temptations, but it never learned the fact that allurements only strengthen the righteous, not weaken them. No one learns from doing things right, but from mistakes. When things are going along smoothly, we coast, but when things go wrong, we learn, study, ask, and fight.

So fight the good fight when adversity strikes. You will be better off for it. And, you will repent and thank Our Father in Heaven for your blessings.

Amen

— Gil Kovacs

Word Study: Adversity

The Hebrew root sounds of adversity are as follows:

Tser-oo-yaw: wounded.
Tser-ore: parcel (as packed up); also a kernel or particle (as if a package). (See: Job 14:17)
Tser-ee: to crack (as by pressure) hence, to leak; distilation. (See: Jer 8:22)
Tso-rek: to need. (See: 2 Chron 20:17)
Tsaw-rah: to scourge, that is, to be stricken.
Tsaw-raf: to fuse (metal), that is, refine it. (See: Psa 12:6, 17:3, 18:30 Isa 1:25, 48:10 Jer 9:7, Dan 11:35, Mal 3:3, Zech 13:9)
Tsaw-rar: to cramp, literally or figuratively. (See: Exo 12:34, Deut 14:25, Psa 23:5, Isa 8:16)

Verses for Adversity

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