“In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider–God has made the one as well as the other.” (Ecclessiates 7:14)
Does adversity stress you out? Anger, disappointment, fear and stress are common responses to adversity. I wonder if my own feelings would change if I truly took to heart the words of the Psalmist.
I know from scripture that God blesses people through some of the most horrible events. My mind goes to Joseph whose brothers hated him and sold him into slavery. Eventually prison would lead him to the palace where he would later be a blessing to many people including his family. I think of Paul whose imprisonment brought him into a position to share the Gospel with higher and higher levels of political authority. Ultimately, Paul’s imprisonment was instrumental in the proliferation of the Gospel. And let us not forget the cross. Christ’s crucifixion was no doubt the darkest moment in history and yet the means of redemption of humanity. What man intends for evil God can and does use for good. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:22)
Consider the source of you suffering. I think it is important to note that part of why Paul could be content in all things was that he realized his suffering was directly a part of the gospel being advanced. Self-inflicted adversity is a different matter. For example, getting fired for a failure to consistently show up at work on time is a very different than being fired for holding your moral ground when asked to do something unethical. Take some time and analyze your adversity. Is adversity in your life a consequence of your poor choices or is it a circumstance beyond your control. If it is the first, then repent and change your choices. If it is the later, then trust in God and move forward.
May God’s peace prevail in all of your circumstance.