A Purpose of Adversity

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Hardship caused by sin and brokenness can help us hate evil just as much as God does.

Psalm 37:23-28

When we’re going through an intense time of adversity, it seems we usually focus exclusively on the momentary trouble. We frequently fail to see any value whatsoever in our suffering. God, however, has specific purposes for bringing us through times of hardship.

One reason He may allow adversity in our life is to teach us to hate evil. Now, you may be hesitant to use the word hate in any situation, and yet this is exactly what the Word of God instructs us to do. Psalm 97:10 proclaims, “Hate evil, you who love the Lord.”

Isn’t it true, however, that we often don’t act as if we hate evil? In many instances, in fact, our tendency is to play around with it, keeping it close by for our own amusement, and making excuses for its presence in our lives. We may say, “Well, I can’t escape evil in this world. It’s all around me! I guess the best I can hope to do is to try and manage it appropriately.” What a deception this is. We are not commanded to manage or manipulate evil; instead, we are instructed to hate its very presence. Psalm 37 says, “Depart from evil and do good, so you will abide forever” (v. 27). When we see evil, we are to turn around and run in the opposite direction!

Yes, we live in a world that is permeated by evil, and we cannot avoid it at all times. However, we can remove ourselves from particularly tempting situations. The heavenly Father can help us recognize the evil one’s pitfalls in our life. Pray and ask Him today for the wisdom and strength to avoid such traps.

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