How to Handle Adversity

Life is full of trouble in this world as we deal with many issues in our lives. When these situations arise we have to look at what Jesus is trying to tell us. Sometimes we go through trials to build our character. God wants to see how we will respond in certain situations. Being children of God, we will experience problems. Many think when they get close to God, their problems are gone, but actually, it’s only the beginning of your problems. Before you go into the church the devil already had you. Now you have God and the evil one wants you back.

To get you back, he will appeal to your weakest points. To fight adversity it takes several steps but it all starts with you. You need to perform a SWOT analysis on yourself. This simply means knowing your strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. To truly know yourself, you must examine how you are. I know it’s easy for us to exam another but take a look at yourself because ultimately we will be judged on how we are and not about anyone else.

We must first examine our strong points, what are some of your strengths? Your strength should come from the word of God and the promises God have made. You also have other strengths that are unique to you. Some of us can take a lot and keep it moving, while others tend to focus too much on the negative. Give God the glory and let him make you stronger in the word. You simply cannot do it alone. Sometimes we just need to ask God, Psalm 119:133 “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Sometimes we must look to God for the answer and let Him take root over our lives. That’s why we must be sober and in this case it means level headed, thinking with a clear mind. We have an enemy that wants to see us act a fool, don’t do it.

Our biggest weakness is the flesh because we are human but expected to live spiritually. That’s hard because when someone does something to us, the natural reaction is to clack back. But what would Jesus do in that very same situation? Our weakness is that we fail we realize that if we are to be Christians, we are to think like Christ. Before I go into any situation, I must change how I would do something and think on how Christ would handle the exact situation. We must remove ourselves as the ultimate way to live and look to Christ as our example for righteous living.

Our problem is we think that we don’t have to experience trouble but that is flawed thinking if we consider our king, Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:21 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” Our problem is we think that we don’t have to experience trouble but that is flawed thinking if we consider our king, Jesus Christ. Since we all have suffering and problems, we must focus on how to handle them, look to Christ and we’ll find a better solution.

Satan’s entire purpose is to wreak havoc on your soul, don’ let him do it. If you belong to God, Satan has to get permission to mess with you according to Job 1:10-12. So we can surmise, Satan can’t even touch you without God’s say so. God is with you through temptation but wants to see how will you respond to Satan’s advances.

Even with the attacks of Satan we have opportunities each and every day to defeat Satan. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 “To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” When dealing with adversity, consider the hope in the situation. Perhaps we handle a situation bad one day but over time we grow to the point of handling that situation better the next time. We must not beat ourselves up, instead use that as an opportunity to better yourself so when the situation arises again, you will handle it entirely different.

If you in a face to face argument, walk away. At times its better for you to walk away to keep you from sinning, then to sin and cause more problems. Years ago my father was minister at Trinity Park Church of Christ. When he left, brothers within the congregation war over the church. The arguments became so intense one brother suffered a heart attack and died. Sometimes it’s better to just walk away. Walk away for your life, walk away to prove you belong to HIM.

Our biggest threat to change is Satan according to Job 1:7 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Satan is constantly in your life, 24/7 trying to get you to do the same thing he tried to get Jesus to do, to bow down before him. He may offer you a new business, a new women, a new man, a new job but be careful with any of those things that you don’t let Satan get into your mind off God’s mission. The Devil came for Adam/Eve, Job, Jesus and he coming for you each day. But there is a right and wrong way to handle Satan.

The Devil came hard for Adam and Eve with attacking Eve when she was by herself. Men must know the devil can get to your woman, then he can get to you. This is why we some can not handle adversity, because their significant other could not handle adveristy. Be wise, be cautious be vigilant. Genesis 3:1-4 “1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:” The Devil didn’t change but one word, Not. God told Adam/Eve they would surely die if they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When adversity came, she listened to the whispers of Satan. Adam could not handle adversity with his wife.

Often times I hear people say “The Devil made me Do it” But did the Devil make them disobey or did the devil simply offer a suggestion and they could not turn it down? James 1:13-15 “13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”. We must not blame the Devil for what we willingly do. We should not play the blame game like Adam did, no we must take responsibility for our lives. On the day of judgement will we make an excuse like Adam and say what had happened God was…. Then he is going to say depart from me, I never knew you. I want God to tell me well done and He will if we properly handle adversity. We can chose to handle it like Eve and Adam or we can be the servant Job.

Job 1:1 “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil” He did everything God required of Him and was blessed. God allowed the devil to test Job to see how he would respond to adversity. The Devil told God, Job 1:10-11 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.”

The Devil was basically saying to God, Job is too blessed to be stressed, meaning Job was rich with children, money and possessions so of course he will follow God but what if he didn’t have those things. Imagine getting a message that you lost all your flock, all your land and all your possessions; in fact you lost all your kids in one day. Losing a child was the most difficult thing anyone will ever experience; well imagine losing all of them all at once. How would you react? What would you do if the Devil took all you loved? How would you handle adversity?

When Enron collapsed and people lost all their wealth, many committed suicide because they couldn’t handle adversity. Others have fallen into depressed states when losing a child. Some have turned to drugs and alcohol when facing trials. They were only trying it for one time, now they are an addict because they simply could not deal with adversity. It’s not a matter of if the Devil will come for you; it’s a matter of when. He came for Job and took everything, someone that was faithful. Often we think if we do everything according to the word of God that we will no longer have trials and tribulations, but that may not be the case. Look at Job, was named a perfect servant according to God, yet he went through adversity. Don’t be discouraged, you can get through anything in life with God. Job said in Job 42:2 “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” After going thru all this pain, all this calamity, some may have turned away from God.

After losing so much in one day, some would have cursed God. Years ago my aunt passed away in a car wreck, my uncle became an atheist after this accident. He didn’t handle adversity well. We will experience storms in our life too, just remember that Jesus has his hands stretched out just waiting for you to reach your hand up like with Peter while he was walking on water. Don’t be discouraged, you can get through anything in life with God. Job said, “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2). After going thru all this pain, all this calamity, some may have turned away from God. After losing so much in one day, some would have cursed God. Years ago my aunt passed away in a car wreck, my uncle became an atheist after this accident. He didn’t handle adversity well. We will experience storms in our life too, just remember that Jesus has his hands stretched out just waiting for you to reach your hand up like with Peter while he was walking on water.

We must not focus on the problem but know that with God we already have the solution. If we wait on the Lord like Job, the results are amazing. We must not focus on the problem but know that with God we already have the solution. If we wait on the Lord like Job, the results are amazing. Job 42:12 “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. By waiting on the Lord, Job was able to access all the blessings of God. He didn’t lean on himself but looked to God for the solution.  God blessed him with a double portion of what he had, God wants to bless you the same way. God only wants the best for you but you must want the best for yourself. Believe in Jesus and His power to overcome the tactics of the Devil. You can overcome, you can gain victory!

SUBMIT: We must submit ourselves to the will of God if we are to be victorious. When we go through things, it only makes us stronger, more equipped to better handle that situation the next time adversity strikes. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. Some say I’m going to be more faithful and come back to church once I get my life together, well it will not happen with God. The Devil got us thinking we can live without God but the devil is a liar.

Ask yourself if you are of God or Satan, there is a quick way to find out, John 3:9 “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”. This doesn’t mean the occasional mistake we may make; this is talking about a lifestyle of sin. Are you still doing the same things you were doing before you were saved? There must be some change once you accept Christ in the way of baptism. We must learn to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. How can we do this?

INCREASE OUR FAITH: Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. We need to get more indoctrinated with the word of God. Some of us are still on Similac, not ready for spiritual meat and been in the church for 20 years, wake up! 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. Attend lectureships, bible class, podcast and every opportunity you have to hear God’s word. Put ourselves in position to hear more and more about God, invest more time in God.

PRAYER: Prayer can help in times of adversity. James 5:16 “The prayers of the righteous availeth much” You can win with prayer. How is your prayer life? Are we praying thru good and bad times? Prayer can changed things and turn a test into a testimony and it can move mountains Matt. 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you”. Pray in confidence knowing God can deliver us from all adversity, Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” Stay prayed up that you will respond like Job and Jesus when adversity strikes.

YOU CAN WIN! Isa. 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord”. The word of God is all you need to gain victory over Satan. Matthew 4:4” But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. When adversity comes look to the word of God for all your answers, cast your burdens on the Lord.

Jesus loved us so much he was willing to die for us. He was tortured and murdered during His crucifixion. Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”. His pain brings us victory over Satan, sin and even death and gives us a chance at eternal life. It doesn’t matter what you have gone thru, you are here today. All the pains, heartaches, family issues, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. God got you thru and gave you His very best, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” If we come to Jesus, cast our adversity on Him, He is faithful to help us.

Matthew 11:28 – “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Its not your battle it’s the Lords.

  1. Submit to God
  2. Pray to God when dealing with adversity
  3. Look to Jesus when dealing with adversity
  4. Beware of Satan devices
  5. Realize you need God in all situations

You can be victorious over every adverse situation with God!

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