“THE SOURCE OF OUR ADVERSITY”
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6). That thou may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7). I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil. I the LORD do all these things. 8). Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. 9). Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10). Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or tho the woman, What hast thou brought forth? ISAIAH 45: 5-10
When we experience hardships, we usually wonder why God allows these painful situations to come our way. It just doesn’t seem to fit with His role as our loving heavenly Father. We struggle to reconcile our suffering with His love for us and His power to prevent or stop it. In order to understand what’s going on, we need to consider the possible sources of adversity.
A Fallen World: When sin entered the world, suffering came with it. God could have protected us from these harmful effects by making us like puppets who could not choose sin, but that would mean we’d also be unable to choose to love Him, because love must be voluntary.
Our Own Doing: Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble with our foolish or sinful choices. If the Lord stepped in and rescued us from every negative consequence, we’d never grow into mature believers.
Satanic Attack: The Devil is our enemy. To hinder anything the Lord wants to do in and through believers, Satan will never cease to harass us. His goal is to destroy our lives and our testimonies, thereby making us weak and useless for God’s purposes.
God’s Sovereignty: Ultimately, the Lord is in charge of all adversity that comes our way. To deny His involvement contradicts His power and sovereignty over creation.
For us to accept that God allows–or even sends–afflictions, we must see adversity from His perspective. Is your focus on the pain of your experience or on the Lord and His faithfulness? As believers, we’re assured that no adversity comes our way unless He can use it to achieve His good purposes.