The journey of spiritual maturity isn’t always easy. From the first tentative steps we take as Christ followers, we experience hard times. Adversity comes to everyone, not just those who live in obedience to the sinful nature.
Yet with our eyes focused on Jesus, adversity doesn’t have the power over us it once had. If we’re living in his presence and listening for his voice, we understand more about who Christ is and we grow deeper in our relationship with him.
As we stay in step with the Holy Spirit, we experience less of the troubles we once made for ourselves. However, when those inevitable times of adversity come, we’re promised that they’re only for a specified time, which God has already ordained.
We also know that God is present in any circumstance, good or bad, and provides the resources we need to get through. The resource may come in the form of another person’s assistance, finances, a specific need for our health, or the prayers of the saints.
When hard times come and put us to the test, God always does his part; what is expected of us? In my experience, relying on God and deepening my conscious contact with him brings peace. Rather than running full-tilt to try and solve a problem, he’s shown me it’s better if I slow down. That doesn’t mean doing nothing. It means I slow down enough to hear what he has to say to me.
“I tell the Lord my troubles and difficulties, and wait for Him to give me
the answers to them,” said one man of God. “And it is wonderful how a
matter that looked very dark will in prayer become clear as crystal by the
help of God’s Spirit.” I think Christians fail so often to get answers to their
prayers because they do not wait long enough on God. They just drop down
and say a few words, and then jump up and forget it and expect God to answer them.
Such praying always reminds me of the small boy ringing his neighbor’s doorbell,
and then running away as fast as he can go. ~ E.M. Bounds
Scripture says we can rely on the power of God to help us through times of adversity. “We are struck down, but not destroyed.”
Jesus warned that in this world we would have trouble, then assured his disciples that he himself had overcome the world (John 16:33).
Following the Master means denying ourselves, which is to die to our rights; carrying our cross, which is to die to our old nature; and to follow, which is obedience.
What does that mean for us? Trials are bound to come in life even with our new life in Christ. But with the power of God working through us, we can overcome any situation and live the abundant life promised to us.
Without God, we’re helpless; but with him all things are possible