Emma and I recently fought side by side with a couple in the challenges they have had. We prayed, studied the Word, fasted, and exercised our faith together, knowing fully well that we do have a High Priest who is not only touched with our weaknesses and challenges, but also able to turn our troubles into testimonies by His mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:15-16).
God started to stir my heart to pay attention to what He was accomplishing in every one of us during this period of adversity. I began to listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit for the hidden wisdom He was imparting onto us as we waited expectantly for His deliverance.
I was then reminded that every adversity is an opportunity. There is a hidden purpose in every challenge we face on the earth. Adversity is loaded with opportunities capable of launching us into a new season of fulfilment in life. What is opportunity? Opportunity is invitation to an experience. Therefore, adversity is invitation to divine experience with our creator, God Almighty. Challenges are opportunities for divine deposits.
God opened my eyes to many things as we stood in faith with our friends. While it is impractical for me to share with you every revelation I got during this period of waiting due to time constraint, I will share as much as time would permit me today, then continue another time.
- Adversity is an opportunity for divine intimacy
We were created for intimacy. We were designed to hear God’s voice (Deuteronomy 4:36). God is a fellowship God. He never created a world that would not need Him. God designed a universe and its inhabitants that will continue to require His loving-kindness and mercy as long as the earth remains.
The dominant purpose of divine fellowship is protection. Earth is an adversarial environment. Life is a sequence of battles. But for us to emerge victorious, it is important that we connect to the God who is more capable to rescue us from any trouble we face. God does not need our intimacy to be God, and neither does He require our sweet words and good songs to feel secure as God. He simply desires intimacy for our benefit. Jesus said, “”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Perpetual intimacy is God’s intention for man. But the tragedy is many of us only remember God and seek divine intimacy when hit with life’s challenges beyond our capability.
Realistically, adversity serves a purpose in man. It slows down our fast life-styles and corrects our focus. It suddenly reminds us of our source. Life’s challenges prompt us to ask for the old path and begin to walk in it (Jeremiah 6:16). But God is faithful. He will never turn away whoever comes to Him. He says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:2).
Adversities turn us to listeners and seekers. We become sensitive to the voice of deliverance. Our spiritual antennas are at their best frequencies for receiving. No wonder the Psalmist says that, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees” (Psalm 119:71). Also, in Psalm 119:67, the Psalmist says “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.”
Every adversity is opportunity. It is invitation to divine intervention. Do not hesitate to reach for God. Reaching is the seed for receiving. He wants you whole, healed, saved, delivered, vindicated, provided for and strengthened. In the midst of your adversity, pursue Him. He will swiftly come for you. He is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He says He has loved you with an everlasting love and has drawn you with loving-kindness (Jeremiah 3:13). Reach for God today. He will never let you down.
- Adversity reveals the importance of good relationships
God made us for each other. We were designed for relationships. But many of us never realised how vital sound relationships are until we found ourselves in difficulties. The purpose of a good relationship is strength in adversity. People are essential to your survival. You are not meant to go through life’s challenges all alone. God has put people in our lives to help us thread safely the unfamiliar jungles of our lives. The bible says “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
Adversity is inevitable in life. But one of the rewards of good friendships is to lift us up when we are down and provide strength in times weakness. David was on the verge of hopelessness when Jonathan stepped into his life. Jonathan provided strength and courage David desperately needed not only to stay alive, but also to fulfil His divine purpose on the earth.
Whatever you do, never underestimate the importance of relationships. Identify those in whose presence your fear disappears and faith is birthed on the inside of you. Such people are invaluable for your survival in adversity. Every relationship fulfils a different function. But it is your responsibility to recognise a Jonathan God has designed for you for a season or a life time.
The devil dreads agreement. He is aware of the power of agreement (Matthew 18:19). Therefore, he will do everything in his power to cause dissension among friends so that he can increase his chance for winning. But if you can stay vigilant, you can uncover his plot to remove good people from your life. Great friends are not perfect people. Great friends are simply humans who serve and trust a perfect God. They believe the word of God and can use their faith to unlock faith within you for your victory (1 John 5:4). Begin to place appropriate values on every sound relationship in your life. Invest time into such Godly relationships. Thank God for your Jonathans. Then watch God use your seeds of love and recognition to schedule an unprecedented escape away from your adversity.
To be continued…
Remain a blessing