How To Cope When Adversity Strikes

adversityStrikesJob in the long ago said, “man that is born of woman is  of few days and full of trouble.”  How true it is.  Trouble and tragedy is not limited to those that are in the national consciousness, whose names and faces are in the news.

While our nation has been absorbed in and hurting for those affected by the unthinkable murder of the little children in Newtown, CT, others have suffered during the past several days as well.  Their names may be unknown. Their story untold.  Their cry unheard.

But their pain is just as real. Their hearts also are broken.  Their emotions are drained.

I wonder how many have lost a loved one in the past five days?  Who has received a call that their child has died in an accident?  Or learned that a loved one is dying of cancer?  Somewhere a mother has suddenly died leaving a grief-stricken mate and hurting little children.  A father has walked out on his family.  Someone has lost their life-savings.  A fire has destroyed the family home.  Or worse yet taken the lives of little children.

How do I know these things?  Because life is filled with pain. Suffering. Sickness.  And death.  Every day somewhere relationships are ruptured.  Spirits are disquieted.  Souls as distressed.  Hearts are broken.

So what is the answer?  How do we cope?  Where do we turn when adversity strikes?

Let me make four suggestions based on Biblical teaching.

(1) Live in God’s Presence.  James said, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” Jesus promised “I  am with you always even to the end of the world.  Mt 28:29.

When we suffer adversity, we can know that we are in the presence of God.  What a great encouragement, comfort and consolation.

One man said, where was God when my son died?” The answer is: The same place he was when His son diedIf you feel forsaken, Jesus knows how you feel. God is not a spectator of our pain, we are in his presence.

(2) Learn from God’s Promises.   The Psalmist affirmed that God would be with us.  That he is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.”  God promises help. Comfort. Hope.  He says, “I care.  And I will care for you.” (I Pet. 5:7).  He feels our pain.  And will supply our every need.

     (3) Lean on God’s Power When Sennacherib, king of Assyria invaded Judah, the king stood up and said.   “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah” (2 Chron 32:7-8)

Finite strength is undependable and expendable, but God’s infinite power is sufficient for every need.  Indeed we are “kept by the power of God” (1 Pet 1:5)

      (4) Look For God’s Purpose  God’s purpose is not to make you miserable.  Paul said to “rejoice in the Lord” God does not send pain, problems and pressures. God is the giver of good gifts. (Jas. 1:18)

Why does adversity strike?  Maybe it is because of the evil of other people.  Sometimes it is the result of living in a natural world that is filled with sin, suffering and separation.  It could be through our own poor choice (Gal. 6:7-8) Or maybe  the Devil is trying to trap us (1 Pet. 5:8)

So what is God’s Purpose for me in adversity?  To walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)   To Use adversity to make me stronger (Jas 1:2-3)  To focus on the eternal plan in Jesus.  (Eph. 3:11)   To claim victory through his love, grace and mercy. (Rom 8:30-31)

We all will suffer adversity in this life.  Sometimes extreme tragedy will befall us.  Yet, whatever the trial or trouble, there is help and hope.  There is God.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

4 Comments

Filed under Adversity

4 responses to “How To Cope When Adversity Strikes

  1. Ila

    Wonderful comments! Just what I need to comfort a hurting sister.

  2. David

    Good thoughts. I am using Job as the basis of what will be four lessons at Compton Road and AdamsPlace, so this lesson would be a good one to follow it. If in fact I use it you will be noted as the source of the outline. Best wishes!

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