The Source of Our Adversity

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For us to accept that God allows—or even sends—affliction, we must see adversity from His perspective. To understand what’s going on, you must consider the possible sources of adversity.

Isaiah 45:5-10

When experiencing hardship, we usually wonder why God allows painful situations to come our way. In our minds, this just doesn’t fit with His role as our loving heavenly Father. We also struggle to reconcile our suffering with the realization that an omnipotent God could have prevented it. To understand what’s going on, we must 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 couldn’t choose sin, but that would mean we’d also be unable to choose to love Him, since love, by its very nature, is voluntary.

• Our Own Doing. Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble with 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 God 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 the Lord’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—affliction, we must see adversity from His perspective. Is your focus on the pain of your experience or on God and His faithfulness? As believers, we’re assured that no adversity comes our way unless He can use it for our benefit and His good purposes.

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