The Benefits of Adversity
Do you spend a lot of time and energy avoiding or escaping the problems and difficulties in your life? I believe that adversity is such an important part of the human experience that should not be sidestepped because we will miss the experience, knowledge and wisdom it teaches us.
Allow me to give you some valuable keys to life...
Jesus Christ said, "In the world you have tribulation"... (John 16:33 NASB). In the first sentence of this verse, he said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace” (John 16:33 NASB). I believe Jesus just told us that we can have his His peace while we experience adversity in life. He experienced, hatred, insults, ridicule, persecution, and death on a cross because he loves us. The letter of in Hebrews confirmed that he learned obedience because of the things he suffered as a man (Hebrews 5:8 NASB).
Job said, "Man, who is born of a woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil." (Job 14:1 NASB). The story of Job’s sickness,(no comma) and the insults from his servants and friends were left for us to read and ponder. Do you believe Job learned anything from the insults, sickness and pain he suffered? If so, it may be possible for us to learn, grow and mature as we go through the problems and difficulties of our lives.
In the 70s, while on active duty in the United States Army in Darmstadt, Germany, I became the maintenance supervisor of the repair shop in my unit. Because I had more time in the army than my sponsor, he became my assistant
When I started supervising the maintenance shop my sponsor became my enemy. He formed a conspiracy with some of the soldiers at work and turned against me. I found classified materials that were out of place during my end of day supervisor inventory and safety check. I secured them in a safe. I scheduled a meeting and I talked to the shift supervisors and soldiers about their careless work habits and failure to follow proper security procedures.
Notwithstanding, the full support of peer supervisors in the unit, my assistant convinced the Commander that I was responsible for the problems in the maintenance shop. He told the Commander that I lacked the experience, knowledge and skills to properly supervise the maintenance shop. My peers tried but failed to inform the Commander that he was getting bad advice. Nevertheless, the Commander reassigned me to an administrative position with responsibilities as a Classified Document Custodian and Acting First Sergeant of the unit.
I called a meeting with my assistant to determine why he had formed a workplace conspiracy; led soldiers to participate in unsafe, illegal, security practices; and lied to the Commander to get his job back. Because we were angry, the meeting deteriorated into a loud, unprofessional argument in front of the soldiers in the shop.
When it was over, I was ashamed and guilty because I lost control of my emotions and let the Lord down that day. I sensed a strong need to go somewhere and pray. So I left the shop and went into the vehicle yard and climbed into the back of a 2 ½ ton truck that was covered with a tarp and I began to pray. As I was praying, the Lord spoke to me and said," stop what you're doing go back inside and find your assistant and apologize to him for how you behaved today." I went back to the shop and apologized to my assistant and the soldiers for my sinful thoughts, words and behavior. I ask them to forgive me. Afterward, I found the same truck, climbed back into the back of it and prayed until I received a breakthrough from the Lord.
What did I learn from going through this adversity that helped my Christian growth, character development, and military career? I learned that I had an anger problem that was hiding in me. First, the stress of all that I experienced during my first supervisory experience caused my anger to come out of hiding and explode in the maintenance shop confrontation. Second, when God showed me my behavior was not Christ-like, the Holy Spirit pushed me to pray, repent and ask for forgiveness, rather than seek revenge. Third, this adversity provided me with opportunities to grow and mature as a Christian and a soldier in the army. Fourth, I learned that being falsely accused does not make you a failure or take your experience, knowledge and skills from you.
This adversity gave me experience and knowledge and taught me valuable wisdom. My assistant may have planned to humiliate me, but God's plans was an administrative position where my responsibilities included not only supervising the maintenance shop, but also all classified documents and security clearances. I became the Acting First Sergeant of the unit, which affirmed my character and skill. Jesus was right. We can have his His peace if we want it as we go through our adversity.
Do you need prayer so you can go through your present adversity and come out of it with the experience, knowledge and wisdom God wants you to have?
Email us your prayer request if you're out of town.
If you live in Sierra Vista, Az or nearby....come and join us for Corporate Prayer on Thursday Nights at 6:30PM. We will pray with you.
We love you! We're ready for you to come and join us in worshiping Jesus Christ our Lord.
WE WILL SEE YOU SOON.
Bishop Earnest E. Robinson, Sr.
Words of wisdom to live by from our Senior Leader, Bishop Earnest E. Robinson, Sr. and other guest writers.