When we face adversity we often wish it would just go away. Or at the very least just happen quickly while we stand still, close our eyes and wait for the worst to pass us by. Do you ever feel this way? Especially when you have boldly stepped out in faith to do what God has called you to? And you think to yourself…”why me, why now?”
As Christian women we face adversity on a daily basis, although we may not always recognize the impact it has on us until we are ready to take a leap of faith and follow what God has laid on our hearts. If you are in this spot now, facing a mountain of struggles as you try desperately to do the Lord’s will then read on and gain some insight on how to continuously take steps through that adversity.
You are Not Alone
It is easy to begin to feel isolated when we face trials. We easily fall to the lie that we are the only ones to have ever gone through this much hardship, the only ones to endure such pain, the only ones to know this type of struggle. This is the work of the devil ladies, convincing you that you have no one to turn to, nobody that will understand, nobody that can help you. You know this is a lie! You have a living example of how to walk through adversity when following God’s will. Take a moment if you will and read through Matthew 26:36-45.
What did you notice about Jesus? Could you relate to his agony? I hope you can, because that is why He did what He did! He suffered, He was in agony, He did not want to be in such pain. He pleaded for His Father to take the pain away.
Now comes the key point, “Yet not as I will, but as you will”. Jesus understand that God’s will was perfect. He trusted that God would bring good out of His suffering. He had faith that the suffering had purpose. You too, my dear sister, can have the same trust and the same faith.
When you are sure that you need to walk away from whatever God has placed on your heart because of the struggle surrounding you as you try to fulfill it, lean in closer to Jesus and know that you are not alone. He knows the plans He has and He will walk with you if only you will just keep taking those steps.
Seek to know where the adversity is coming from
This part is hard sisters. This is where we have to be gut wrenchingly honest with ourselves. You must take the time to seek out why you are facing adversity. Now is the time for self reflection and some serious soul searching. It is at this stage that it is critically important that you know WHO God is. Take a moment and reread the first part of Practical Guidance for Stepping out in Faith.
There are typically going to be three causes of your adversity:
The natural fallout of sinful decisions
Search your heart and ask God to convict you of any sin in your life that may be causing you adversity. It is important to remember here that we have a sinful nature and despite our best efforts to live a holy life we still fall short of God’s perfection (cue Jesus’ sacrifice-Thank the Lord!). So, knowing this we need to also understand the difference between sinful nature and living in sin.
Living in sin is completely different than having a sinful nature. In short, now is the time to examine your conscience and bring to the surface any hidden sin and determine if it is your nature or if it is a willful choice. If it is your nature, take heart and know that God loves you and He disciplines those He loves. Relish in your discipline and learn all He needs you to learn! If it is a sinful life, seek Jesus and take steps to rid yourself of this sin. Reading this may help- True Obedience.
The testing of your faith
If you have not been convicted of any sin through your self reflection, it is time to look at the testing of your faith. Is God asking you to move and you are resisting? Is there a decision to be made but you are afraid?
Just like a coach is going to push you to be your very best, God your Father knows who He made you to be and knows how far He has to push you to take the steps He needs to you take toward His perfect will for you.
If this is the cause of your adversity, rejoice! For you are among good company. The New Testament is absolutely full of testimonies of disciples’ faith being tested.
James 1:2-4tells us: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” We are to consider it joy because God loves us too much to leave us less than our best selves!
Satan is waging Spiritual warfare for your soul
It may be hard to tell if it is God or Satan putting you to the test. Your best bet in making the determination is to know God, and to know Satan and how they work. If your adversity is coming from Satan, you may be able to tell based on whether or not anything about the adversity is pointing you to God or to the solutions of the world. If worldly solutions seem to be the logical choice, you can rest assured that Satan is at work.
If you determine that it is Satan, which my friends there is a very good chance that it is…stand strong in your faith! Know that the devil works in this world to destroy our faith and turn us away from God. So you must resist. We are told that if we resist the devil he will flee from us. (James 4:7). Come closer to God and He will give you the strength you need in order to accomplish this!
Do not give in to mindless quarrels, do not concede to worldly ideals, do not lose sight of your dreams because of the clouds in the distance. Satan does not want you to follow God’s path, he wants your soul for his own. Fight with all God’s might!
Distinguishing between the three can be tricky. I ask that you take a few moments and read through the resource guide that I have provided to help you in your journey!
Let’s walk together!
Remember that you are not alone in this…not only do you have Jesus, but you also have a community of women standing here with you. I for one have walked through the valley of death and am here to testify that you can get through it too. I will walk with you. I will support you. Head over to my post page, Join the Conversation to read more!