Overcoming Adversity Through Faith

Overcoming Adversity through Faith

  • The following passages are about general adversity in life rather than adversity encountered due to spreading the gospel.
    • Romans 5:1 – 5  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also glory in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
    • 2 Corinthians 1:3 – 7  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any tribulation, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.  Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer.  Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, you will partake of the consolation.”
    • 2 Corinthians 12:8 – 10  “Concerning this thing [thorn in the flesh] I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made consistent in weakness.’  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
    • Hebrews 12:3 – 11  “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  You have not resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.  And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the discipline of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and scourges every son whom He receives.’ It is for discipline you endure; God deals with you as sons; for what son is there whom a father does not discipline?  But if you are without disciplining, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.  Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?  For they indeed for a few days disciplined us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.  Now no discipline seems to be joyous for the present but painful; afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
    • James 1:2 – 4  “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its consistent work, that you may be consistent and complete, lacking nothing.”
    • James 5:13  “Is anyone among you suffering, let him pray.”
    • 2 Peter 5:10  “But the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after you have suffered a while, will make you consistent, established, strengthened, and settled.”
  • Summary about our response to affliction:
    • Tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
    • God comforts us that we may be able to comfort others.
    • My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made consistent in weakness.
    • Afterwards, discipline yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
    • The testing of your faith produces patience.  Let patience have its consistent work.
    • Is anyone among you suffering, let him pray.
    • After you have suffered a while, God will make you consistent, established, strengthened, and settled.
  • Methods and assurances:
    • Romans 8:26  “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
    • Philippians 4:6 – 8  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication after thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things noble, whatever things just, whatever things pure, whatever things lovely, whatever things of good report, if any virtue and if any praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”
    • 1 Peter 2:2 – 3  “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby, up to salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
    • 2 Peter 1:3 – 7  “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”
  • Summary of methods and assurances:
    • The indwelling Spirit fixes our clumsy and misguided prayers.
    • Build prayers upon thanksgiving.  Make requests known.  Think about good stuff.
    • Desire the Word: the Bible and the philosophy
    • Know the promises.  Keep working at building character.