The place of adversity

Sometime ago, a poll was conducted with the aim of ascertaining what the best university in the world was. When the poll result was announced, to the astonishment of many, the best university wasn’t Oxford, neither was it Cambridge nor the university you and I obtained a BSc from. The winning university was University of Adversity (interesting eh?). Obviously, that wasn’t because “Adversity” rhymes with “University” but because by associating with that university, one is able to answer the common question of – “Why do I go through hard times even though I am a good person?” or better put “If God really loves me, why does He allow me go through adversity?”

To begin with, I’ll like you to picture two scenarios: one, the sharpening of a knife against an emery stone; two, the refining of gold in a furnace. In both cases, neither the knife nor the gold is having a fun time as it is being worked upon. If the knife and gold had a mouth, I am sure they’d be shrieking and wailing as they go through that unpleasant process. However, once the knife has kissed the emery stone good bye and the gold has been relieved of the furnace heat, both would be in a better and finer state – the knife will be as sharp as Zorror’s sword and the gold as pure and expensive as nothing you can imagine. But then, it was the not-so-fun activities those objects had passed through that made them into what they eventually became.

That’s what adversity is capable of doing to us as well which is why, I believe, God doesn’t exempt even His beloved children from adversity and tough times. I believe God’s more interested in our character development than He is in spoiling us with temporal happiness and pleasure. The adversity, obstacles, and mountains we face are exactly what build us up and transform us into the people of valor, value and virtue that God intends for us to become. That makes sense because success in life is measured not necessarily by the position one has attained, but by the obstacles one had to overcome to get there. Thus, adversity indeed has its place in life. This is an important fact which shouldn’t be ignored but embraced.

Perhaps, you are going through an adversity or a tough time, and you need some words to hold onto. This is me extending my hands as I share 3 points with you:
1. Hold onto God’s promises: Truly God hasn’t forsaken you and He won’t leave you now as He has promised (Hebrews 13:5).
2. Don’t give up: Come to think about it, you’ve been through a couple of tough times in the past, maybe even tougher times, but then you made it through them all. What then makes you think you can’t surmount this one that’s staring you in the face? (God, your helper, hasn’t changed – has He?)
3. Remain thankful: All things – whether they are good or evil, whether they are caused by your own fault or not – are working together for your good as you love God (Romans 8:28). This knowledge calls for an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving as it demonstrates trust in God that He’s got your back.

That said, reconcile with God if you need to and hold on tight to Him. Surely, you’ll make it through this adversity and every other you encounter since He is with you.

Take action:
What is your perspective toward adversity? How can you change that perspective to enable you live a fulfilling life?

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