Yesterday, I talked with you on how to Endure and Outlast Adversity. The definition I gave for the word ADVERSITY was, “An event or series of events that opposes success; a misfortune, distress, a state of unhappiness.” Today I want to search out the WHYs and HOW’s of, “Why Adversity Comes” into our lives. I want to tackle the preventions and preparations we need first. How we can bring the promises of God into being and a reality. Our endurance in adversity will depend upon on the WORD of God. Without prevention, adversity will show up! If we don’t protect ourselves from diseases, through vaccines or O.T.C. medicine, sickness will come. That reminds me of an old saying my mother would often quote, just before giving me yucky tasting medicine. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. That made no sense to me when I was a child but now, as I have matured into an adult, it makes perfect sense.
I have learned over the years, because I can’t see something; doesn’t mean reality isn’t there. Because you can’t see radio waves doesn’t mean you can’t hear your favorite song being played over the air. You must be prepared to receive what you can’t see before the reality manifest itself. Lets go to the Book of Mark, chapter 11, and see the importance of receiving; the first step in prevention.
Verse 24 reads, “For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].”
I like to underline key words in bible verses. It helps me search out some truths that are often missed in reading God’s Word. It also slows me down and gives me better understanding. Look and underline these words, in the above verse in Mark [it’s okay to mark up your bible. I won’t tell anyone]; “whatever you ask”, “believe” and “you will [get it].” These underlined words, tells me I have to receive something before I can see it. I need to “grab a hold of it”, I need to “contain it”, I need to “embrace it”, and then “speak in line with it until it lines up with what I believe”. If you “believe” in whatever you are asking for, something should show up. Don’t expect to see or find what you are looking for by simply reading random verses in your bibles. You must conceive it , if you are going to see it in your ADVERSITY. When a married couple wants a child, they must conceive before the woman gets pregnant. Just knowing and hearing about how to get pregnant isn’t enough. The promise in God’s Word isn’t enough either. You must confess the WORD. Spiritual expecting is like the woman who becomes pregnant. She informs the family, I AM EXPECTING! “Spiritual Expecting” means that you are pregnant with the seed of the WORD. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.” Then in verse 14 we read, “And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace and truth.” Now turn with me to the Gospel of Luke one, starting with verse 31. The angel Gabriel is speaking to Mary, who had never been married and was a virgin, engaged to be married.
“And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus.” And what was Mary’s response to the angel? Verse 34, “How can this be, since I have no [intimacy with any man as a] husband?” Good question by Mary don’t you think? Then the angel goes on to shed some light on the matter. He responds to Mary’s question by saying,
Verse 35 “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shinning cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing [from the Hebrew; debar or word “thing”] which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God.” God’s Word was about to become a “holy, pure and sinless “WORD THING.” So when did the conception take place? Look at verse 38,
“Then Mary said, Behold I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said,…” The Greek word for SEED happens to be the word “sperma”. When Gabriel gave Mary the “sperma“, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary had to do something before conception could take place. She had to receive God’s Word and say were her own mouth, “let it be done to me”. Mary had conceived and was now pregnant. With God’s “sperma“or THING. Now satan’s task in all of this is to have what is expected. An aborted, still-born pregnancy of God’s seed. The devil will try to convince you that what you just conceived isn’t a THING at all. God doesn’t want you to be pregnant with His Word. I have gone down a long rabbit trail but I want you to understand how the Word of God brings us confidence when ADVERSITY crosses our paths. Turn over to the Gospel of John Chapter 16 to tie these things together.
Verse 33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you may have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [when ADVERSITY comes]; be [confident, certain, and undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you].”
JESUS tells us that ADVERSITY will come. It is not exclusive of BELIEVERS. It boils down to our preparation before it comes. By being obedient in the “ounce of protection”; receiving the word seed and becoming pregnant from it [that’s the “pound of cure”], we will be able to endure and outlast ADVERSITY. Why? Because God’s Word says so! “Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”
WHY then does ADVERSITY come to us? God isn’t mad at us and that’s why it comes. Our Father allows ADVERSITY to come into our lives to see our response to it. If He can’t trust us to handle misfortune, distress and a state of unhappiness during ADVERSITY, how can God trust us in our successes? HOW then should we respond in Joseph’s dry well? HOWshould we respond when someone accuses us of wrong that we didn’t commit? HOW do we respond when we become a prisoner to an entrapment? HOW will we handle ADVERSITY?
Psalm 31:7 tells us how to handle diverse circumstances, “I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy and steadfast love, BECAUSE You have seen my affliction. You have taken note of my life’s distresses.” Be glad IN your ADVERSITY because of God’s mercy and steadfast love”. God’s Word never says we are to be glad FOR ADVERSITY. Pity from others won’t help you either. Only after conception of God’s Word will it bring you into prosperity and success!
I hope my detective work on what God’s word tells us about Enduring and Outlasting Adversity will help you now and when adversity comes. For it will come! Are you prepared for it to come?