Who would’ve thought we’d see a day and time like this, Team? Social distancing? Pandemics? There’s adversity all around us that we can’t control.
When things like this happen, it tends to sober us to the reality of our humanity. It forces us to reevaluate our priorities and brings us back to our first love, Jesus. We’re reminded of how much we need Him and how grateful we are for salvation.
How Can We Benefit From Adversity?
There are a few benefits we get through tragedy that we don’t get when things are going well.
1. A grateful heart.
Hardship and adversity remind us to appreciate every moment and live life to the fullest. We have to reconcile within ourselves that nothing is certain, and things can change in the blink of an eye. There is a freedom that comes with embracing this truth. Pressure and anxiety melt away as we yield ourselves to the here and now. Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself”.
2. Increased worship.
Worship is intensified when we go through difficult times. We pray and seek God with depth and sincerity. We are desperate for His wisdom and guidance during these times. Some of the most beautiful psalms were written in times of distress.
Psalm 77:1 says, “I cried out to God with my voice- to God with my voice I cried and He gave ear to me.” Verse 6, “I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.” Verse 13-14, “Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is as great as our God? You are the God that does wonders You have declared Your strength among the peoples.”
Pure worship is born in critical situations when God is all we have. In that place, we gain new revelation of God – the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 1:8), He who is and was and is to come (Revelation 1:4). His sovereignty, power, and glory are fully acknowledged.
3. People coming together.
Unity is also a result of adversity. There are always exceptions to the rule, but generally, people band together in hard times. Here in Chicago, leaders have been pushing for vacant public housing to be used for the homeless. Mortgage and utility companies have been offering deferred payment options. There was a photo that went viral on social media that depicted a plane full of healthcare workers who volunteered to go to New York, which has the most COVID-19 cases.
Our society has unified in so many ways to fight together and I believe this pleases God. Psalm 133:1 says, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”
4. Stronger families.
Times of adversity tend to strengthen the family unit. With the coronavirus pandemic, people are home with each other because of “shelter in place” rules and we’re bonding more than ever. We are having more home-cooked meals and eating together as restaurants have closed. Homeschooling our kids has challenged us with coursework, study time, and has shown many parents what they’re capable of doing.
I pray that we look at this as an opportunity and not an inconvenience. My job and commute time kept me out of the house 11+ hours a day. Although I am very grateful to have a job, I am thrilled to be able to now be home with my girls.
I am confident that we will come through this, teammates. We must continue to walk by faith. God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). While the world may be uncertain, we have assurance in Jesus Christ! No matter what, God is our refuge and our shield.
Bonus: We also need to take advantage of this time and share His love with those who may be searching for answers. Let’s comfort people with the knowledge of God and His saving grace. His will is that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). They need to know now more than ever that the God of heaven and earth loved them so much that He sent His Son to die for them. This is why our personal development is so vital because in dark times we should be the light of this world. Jesus said when He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Himself (John 12:32).
So, What’s the Play Call?
- Don’t allow fear to creep in (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Take advantage of this time with your family; get to know them in new ways.
- Share the gospel! “You are Salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5:13
God bless you all, be safe!