Adversity takes many forms, and sometimes it can seem like we are surrounded by it. It can feel like there is no escape for our problems and struggles. They can become like clouds, blocking out the light of the sun and making our lives dreary and dim.
Luckily, we are blessed with Paul as an example of how to deal with and think about adversity. Paul had prestige. His lineage and education were, according to the standards of the day, above reproach. Then the Lord appeared to him, blinding Paul until the Lord sent Ananais to restore his sight and ensure that he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul was blind for three days before Ananias came to him. It was three days of not knowing if he would ever see again, three days of having to relearn how to do daily activities, three days of reevaluating his life.
Paul's adversity also didn't cease when he decided to follow the Lord's direction. He was no longer blind, but he was later beaten, imprisoned, and rejected by his own people for preaching the Gospel. In the midst of his adversity, he writes that everything he'd lost as a result of God's calling on his life he had lost for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. He encourages others to have joy, even in the midst of trials. He tells us to persevere, to be mature in our faith in the Lord's provision.
Do you consider your losses lost for the sake of Christ? Are you joyous, even as you struggle?
James 1: 1-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.