The Lord of Adversity

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I am seeing so huge that our God is the Lord of all adversity. At certain points in my walk I thought that my adversities were obstacles in the way of my pursuit of God. I thought they were hurdles that I needed to overcome – things that impeded my walk – and if not conquered, would prevent me from reaching my destiny. Today my question is: could they all be in place to shepherd me? Could God have used my adversity to direct and guide me towards Himself?

Hypothetical Adversity

Hypothetical Adversity
Let me give a hypothetical example. Say you were born into a family of avid sportsmen, but you hadn’t a stitch of athleticism in your body. Maybe baseball was the drug of choice for your family but you had an arm that was weak and malformed. You could have been born this way or it could have happened in an accident. It caused you tremendous shame and heartache because you just couldn’t make the grade. You cursed and struggled with what you weren’t able to do and you were left behind under the weight of scorn.

Could God be over this adversity? Possibly could your inborn limitation be purposed of God to prevent you from your sporting pursuits? Could this thing that caused you such shame be God’s own jealousy for you and your attention? Or could He be saving you from an idolatry that could have led you away from Him?

Here’s another example. Say your parents put you up for adoption. They didn’t want a child and you would have ruined their happy plans. Though you were adopted, you feel a rejection that transfers into every relationship. You’re always looking for the other shoe to drop and you expect it will be at any minute. How could this lifelong pain of fearing rejection be God? Could it have been God saving you from a set of narcissistic people who would have destroyed you? Would their presence have been the end of any possibility of your salvation? Does your fear of rejection make you just needy enough to look to an Eternal Father’s love and rescue?

Your Adversity

Your Adversity
You can fill in the blank with your own adversity. Maybe it’s not a physical malady. What if it’s a generational curse that has plagued you your whole life? That heart attitude from which you just can’t get free? This is not excusing it, for we will be accountable for our sins, but what if the original scenario was set in place to humble you and make you completely dependent? Could God be over the direction of even my own fallen nature? You see, I believe His sovereignty is beyond even my weakness, be it physical, mental, emotional or moral. He is either God of all or He’s not God at all! Christ is the Lord of all our adversity, no matter what that adversity might be.

Looking at Adversity

Looking at Adversity
In looking at my life this morning, I’m seeing things about myself that I would’ve preferred to change rather than live with. But I also believe God has set them in place to constrain me. They were keeping factors unto Him. I was a headstrong and bold child, but a stronghold of fear prevented me from excess. I would’ve done or tried anything bar an inordinate fear of death. He used a generational curse of the fear of death to keep me until I was with Him. The fear was debilitating at times, but God in His sovereignty used it to keep me.

Now, God is not the author of evil but He is the owner of the book. I’m in awe of His control of even my willful decisions. Being His, I am His to maneuver through my life in whatever way He chose. God being this sovereign makes me understand the scripture to thank Him for everything.

No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 TLB

Comments:

Posted by Sandy
November 21, 2016 at 11:38 am

Yes, John!! I believe that God IS as sovereign as you say. Isn’t that what Proverbs 16:9 means? “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Understanding and accepting this is life changing!!

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Posted by LeAnn
November 21, 2016 at 11:35 am

Thank you, John. This is a strong truth that many do not want to hear in these days and which we need to remember! He is GOD, after all…

Romans 9:20-21

But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

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Posted by Pauline
November 18, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Oh John, I wasn’t going to read this at this time but the Holy Spirit prompted me not to wait, almost a whisper of “THIS will set you free!” I didn’t even know the topic before I sat down. But, as usual, He was right…God is speaking here.
Now I’ll be counting my adversities as well as my blessings — never thought I’d say that.
It amazes me how many different angles Father has shown you such gems; see, He knows you’re a photographer!
Thank you and bless you, John.
Love

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Posted by Dodi Bivins
November 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

I once read that God’s children don’t go to heaven wearing silk pajamas while resting on a satin feather bed. Ephesians 1:11,12 reminds us that “In Him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works ALL THINGS according to the counsel of His own will” Ephesians 1:11,12 trumps the vanity that man thinks he controls his destiny and it’s his own free will who has the final say and outcome, this is a prideful and bogus assumption.
Apostle Paul reminds us….. it is a high calling to suffer to glorify and honor God, however if given a choice I would choose other ways to honor and glorify God, but it’s not my choosing……
While Karma is true to some facts it is not totally accurate, Karma doesn’t allow for forgiveness, mercy or grace only Christ does this.

God Bless you My Friend
Dodi <
His grace seals us with ownership of His holy spirit and nothing / nothing comes to us by accidents or second causes.

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Posted by Sandy
November 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

John, had I heard this a few years ago, I would have thought, No way! God would never do such a thing to His own children!!
But it is as you say. And I have seen it in my life too. And I am thankful because I know it has saved me from falling away…

Today your words bring me to this conclusion: loosing and gaining always come together. This God’s mmath. You cannot have one without the other.
Even when it’s something “good.” Like having a child. For new life to come forth, it must take away from the mother…
We, need to die in order to live.
Is there ever a win-win situation??
Even Christ lost in order to give…

(I bless you my brother.)

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Posted by Paul
November 18, 2015 at 7:19 am

John, thank you for the reminder this morning, that God’s sovereignty covers EVERY single detail of our lives; including those that we don’t like or have had no control over…and this understanding is to evoke a response of THANKFULNESS!

Your message beautifully echoes TAS’ Open Windows yesterday where he also reminded us that God is using ALL THINGS in our lives to conform us to the image of His Son.

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Posted by Sam
November 18, 2015 at 4:43 am

Ah… so good. You realize that the vision that you shared here can only be accessed through the eyes of the Child?

Love abounding to you!

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