If we’re confident of the Lord’s love for us and understand how He uses adversity in our lives, we will be able to trust Him and respond in a way that benefits us. Consider these biblical principles about our hardships:
Adversity is one of God’s most effective tools for strengthening our faith. If we focus on the ways He is working within us and enabling us to endure affliction, our trust in Him will grow even if our circumstances stay the same.
The Lord sends adversity to help us, not to hurt us. God’s purpose for allowing pain is to achieve something good. He may be trying to correct us or produce godly character in us. In the case of the apostle Paul, God protected him from pride and taught him to depend on Christ (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
God is always with us. We may not feel His presence, but He has promised to never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5). As believers, we have been united with Christ, and His Spirit lives within us.
Adversity can be a precious gift from the Lord. Pain and hardship are the instruments He often uses to correct our thinking, turn us around, and guide us onto His path.
The Word of God shows us how to walk through times of adversity. It reminds us of His love, tells us about His purposes for trials, encourages us to endure, and strengthens us in the process. One of the primary reasons we struggle in adversity and give in to despair and hopelessness is ignorance of the Scriptures. The Lord wants to help us through affliction, but we must open His Word to receive His guidance, comfort, and assurance.
This article was originally published on February 21, 2016, and is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message “An Intimate Look at Adversity,” which airs this weekend on TV.