Life brings with it challenges…it is part of the package. I know that it is not advertised on the outside of the box when we enter life – but once we open the box and start living our lives we find that part of life is working through the challenges and difficulties that it presents. To many people – this is an overwhelming task…but it doesn’t have to be. In fact the challenges brought to our door by the situations of life can be the very thing God uses to multiply and bring increase and blessing. It is interesting to note the effect of adversity found in Exodus 1:12 -“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.”
There was a direct ratio between the level of affliction and the level of growth in the children of Israel. The greater affliction they suffered – the greater the growth. This may not be the encouraging word you were looking to go with your coffee today – but let’s face it… it is a law that is true!
Adversity and challenges spur growth…if we allow it to do what it is supposed to do!
Why does affliction bring growth?
Affliction defines our character allowing us to see who we really are. It may take a little adversity for you to take a long hard look in the mirror and see what you have been missing all these years. You may never realize who you really are until you walk through some difficult times.
Affliction demands more discipline. When things don’t go as planned it forces us to toughen ourselves up to face the challenges that have come to us. Nobody wants to lose – therefore we do the hard work to discipline ourselves to win.
Affliction helps us determine the things that are most important. It is amazing how difficult times cause us to reevaluate what is most important in our lives and redirect our focus toward those things. When you are faced with losing a loved one you realize that money isn’t as important as you once thought it was. When sickness enters your home – you understand that the job isn’t priority one any more but taking care of your family is. Your focus changes when unexpected adversity comes.
Affliction changes our dependency. It leads us to depend upon our inner spiritual resources more than our outward physical resources. It causes us to reevaluate where we have found our strength and by finding new strength from the Holy Spirit – we in turn become stronger people.
Paul raised the triumphant banner of victory by declaring, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). The “things” to which he was referring are tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, inadequate clothing, peril, and sword. (See Romans 8:35.)
Fill in the blank with the challenge you are facing right now. Then quote this verse: “Nay in all these things – divorce, bankruptcy, wayward children, losing my job, etc. – we are more than conquerors through Christ.”
The challenge is there to develop you not defeat you! Don’t let it sink you but rather sail through it because of the power of Christ which resides in you. This is your moment to rise above your challenge and let the work of the Spirit of God resiliently shine through you!! I feel the Holy Spirit touching right now and reassuring you that this adversity is here to make you strong…don’t miss the moment!!