If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. (Proverbs 24:10)
It’s easy to feel happy and secure when everything’s going your way and no waves are rocking the boat. You stay on course and commend yourself on what a great job you’re doing in life. But all of a sudden adversity strikes, crashing over you like a giant wave, and unexpectedly it takes all your strength just to hang on and keep your boat from overturning. Maybe you never saw the wave coming. Even if you did, you realized with one glance that it was big enough to drown you.
Job experienced this kind of adversity. He seemingly went from being the most fortunate to the most unfortunate man overnight. Why would God let someone who loved Him so much go through this kind of pain? This isn’t just a question about Job; it’s a problem all believers face at one point or another. We feel that the Lord should protect us from suffering, but He doesn’t always do that.
Maybe our reasoning is backwards. We think that Christians don’t deserve to suffer, but from God’s perspective, suffering is what produces faithful believers. From the vantage point of eternity, adversity teaches us what He can do for us – and what we cannot do for ourselves. We lose our false confidence in ourselves, and we can place a well-founded confidence in Him.
As we depend on the Lord, we learn more about who He is. The more we learn about who He is, the more we are able to trust Him. The more we trust Him, the more we are able to enjoy the peace and joy that He has promised us in daily life.
Adversity shows us how much we lack spiritually. If we all had easy lives without conflict, struggle or pain, we’d never really know God, because we’d never need Him. Like it or not, adversity teaches us more about the Lord than simply reading the Bible ever will.
After God spoke to Job, revealing His character and incredible power, Job said, “I have heard of You . . . but now my eye sees You” (Job 42:5).
Lord, let this be true for us as well.