"In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
Adversities and hardships are opportunities for us to go higher. Our present state of mind can not comprehend why God does not prevent every negative thing from coming into our lives. In fact, Jesus said, "In this life you will have trouble." "Unfair things will happen to you, " he said, but, more importantly, "Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world."
This is seen throughout scripture, and it's a hard pill to swallow for many. I pray, I do good deeds, why do I still have such hardship is a question that plagues us all. God says if we'll keep the right attitude, if we'll stay full of joy and full of hope, even though he may not stop all the trouble, when we come out, we won't be the same as before. We'll be more blessed, healthy, and prosperous, better off than we were previously.
So why doesn't God stop the adversity? Why can't we just live in peace always? That, Dear Reader, is one topic no one can answer. And, unfortunately, no one will ever be able to answer it effectively until confronted by God. Adversity is a part of life, get over it, and roll with it.
Think about Joseph. His brothers were so jealous of him, they sold him into slavery. Other young men his age, no doubt, were out having a good time, enjoying their lives. But Joseph was confined, living in a foreign land, having to work all the time. It was unfair: worse yet, Joseph's heartache and pain were caused by somebody else's poor choices and somebody else's bad attitude.
But God saw that injustice. God said in the book of Joel, "I will restore the years that have been stolen from you." (Joel 2:25) That's what he did for Joseph. Even thought Joseph spent thirteen years in slavery and in prison, God made it all up to him. When he came out, he didn't have to go back home and start over. NO, he came out promoted and increased. He now had a position of honor as the prime minister of all Egypt. Second in command only to the Pharaoh.
God took the adversity and injustice, and because Joseph kept the right attitude, God brought him out much better then he was before. In other words, God made the enemy pay for bringing the injustice into Joseph's life.
You know, you never stop learning in life especially about scripture. And while I write this blog I think of my own injustices. For one, once a lively, spry adult five years ago, I now must counter my days with a chronic illness. I was diagnosed with fibroymalgia then which brought on a myriad of adversity. Peripheral neuropathy, pancreatitis, ulcers, and heightened nervous system are just a few of the extensions that are usually caused by the disease. To make matters worse, I had two boys still at home I had to care for. So quitting and going on disability were not an option. I had no one to turn to while the case sat on a court room desk waiting for some kind, sympathetic person to approve.
I spent three years perusing the internet in search of a cure. Every stride I made I was certain I had cured myself. Sadly, my last two years were spent in reality. Trying to manage the symptoms became my survival mode as I grimaced each morning getting out of bed pulling myself together for work. Many a day can be nightmare. Living with fibro is not only an uncomfortable disease, but you never know if you'll be transported to the hospital on any given day for a another long stint. It is as if you work in survival mode. Survival mode to keep the house is about it because you have no energy for anything else in life.
Anyway, I was sitting in church last week. I had been thinking of my five year stretch with the illness, and how God has helped me manage and work with my never ending list of symptoms. It is better than five years ago, and I was giving thanks to God for keeping me well for the most part. Ad I looked up at Christ on the cross, I had an epiphany. Two small phrases entered my heart simultaneously, "Magnify God. God can cure all illnesses." Immediately following I felt a sense of peace.
Such peace filled my heart, that it coursed through my being. I spent the last to years living with the reality the disease has no cure, but not living with the Biblical promise that God can cure all things. Can God cure me today? That was not even in my thoughts. Just the thought that God cures all things made me look at life differently. There was a huge sense of acceptance right then and there. We are filled with adversity, but God WILL change all things because he has the ability to cure all things. My heart is hopeful.
Dear Reader, God is keeping the records in your life, as well. If somebody has mistreated you, done you wrong, or your are experiencing hardship, don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Let hope fill your heart. Know that God will bring you out with twice what you had before. God will never waste anything that you go through. Feel the peace, accept.