In the midst of adversity, pursue God’s gift of supernatural wisdom.
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Recently, I had the privilege of sitting with a man and his lovely wife who had been battling cancer. Treatments seem to be unsuccessful and her future on this earth was looking grim. In an honest and vulnerable moment, he shared with me that he worried about God’s testimony being damaged if she died.
I responded by saying:
“Your testimony is not whether your wife lives or dies. The way that you and your wife are going through this challenge is a testimony of an unexplainable power. Your attitude is amazing. Your love for your wife is amazing. Her attitude is spectacular! You’ve been through things I could never ever imagine, and God’s going to use your life in the lives of others as they see how you endure and respond…”
In their maturity they were ready for whatever God had for them, and yet they were concerned about the impression their circumstances would leave on watchful eyes. They feared that unbelievers might use their story as an excuse to dismiss God, or that believers would be discouraged.
Despite their fear and sadness, this couple was singing God’s praises in that hospital room.
They were facing unimaginable heartache, and yet they were not stuck.
Will you consider what kind of reaction you would have to this level of heartache? Would you be able to respond to tragedy and sadness similarly? Do you struggle with getting stuck in hardship and sadness?
As believers, what are faithful ways to respond to adversity and personal hardship?
This couple wasn’t stuck in their pain, though most of us would understand if they did struggle with accepting it from time to time. Instead, they had a perspective that is supernatural and can only be found when we receive God’s outlook.
If you’re prone to discouragement, this kind of response might seem impossible, but it’s not! God has a solution when we find ourselves stuck, and today we’re going to learn exactly how to access that solution.
If you prefer to jump ahead to the steps that will be uncovered, use the links below.
- Admit you’re stuck.
- Confess that you can’t do it on your own.
- Ask God for supernatural wisdom.
- Be willing to do whatever God’s wisdom requires of you.
HOW TO RESPOND TO ADVERSITY AND GET UNSTUCK
The answer is found in this portion of the Scriptures from the book of James:
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)
Oftentimes, we want to get unstuck and depend on God in our hardships, we just don’t know how to make that a reality.
First, it’s important to understand the heart of God and believe the truth that God cares deeply about your circumstances and your dilemma of being stuck in your pain. He understands and wants to help you, and He promises to show you how to get unstuck if you follow His instruction.
Take comfort knowing that He knows all things actual and possible. He is exerting His unlimited power to execute the best possible outcomes, by the best possible means, to fulfill the highest possible purposes.
This doesn’t mean that difficult circumstances disappear, but it does mean that He promises to equip you with a supernatural gift to help you get unstuck, overcome, and thrive in your hardship. Here are the steps to begin that process.
In the midst of hardship and adversity, God advises us to ask for wisdom. He promises to equip you with this supernatural gift to help you get unstuck, overcome, and thrive in your hardship. Click To Tweet
4 Encouraging Steps To Move Beyond the Adversity That Has You Stuck
1. Admit you’re stuck.
Hubble yourself and admit you’re knee-deep in pain. God already knows this and has compassion for your situation. You already have His love and concern and when you admit you’re stuck in this place of adversity and pain — and possibly in the position of a victim — it will lead to a solution.
2. Confess that you can’t do it on your own.
As witnessed through the couple in the hospital room, and countless others who’ve confided in me over the years, there is pain on this earth that seems unbearable. It’s not fit for us to “deal with” on our own. On the contrary, God wants our adversity and pain to be a catalyst to seek and depend on Him. Start by admitting it’s beyond your ability to handle it and that you need God’s intervention.
3. Ask God for supernatural wisdom.
As a believer, the key to responding to pain and adversity faithfully is to seek His wisdom. He simply instructs us that it’s our responsibility to ask for it.
Whether it’s about a tough decision, an uncertain project, a wayward child, or messy finances, He says that He will give wisdom generously!
God says that if you pray and do not doubt, He will show you the path.
4. Be willing to do whatever God’s wisdom requires of you.
When we come to Him seeking wisdom, God’s attitude is open and generous. He wants to give us His supernatural wisdom. But here’s the agreement: You must approach Him with the understanding that HIS wisdom prevails and that you will take whatever steps He prescribes.
ROMANS 12 WISDOM FOR ADVERSITY
For example, I endured a season of hardship when I was deeply hurt by someone in my church. My disappointment was justified, but I was nurturing my feelings of anger.
During that time, God reminded me of Romans 12:14-19 which says:
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
The last thing I wanted to do was to bless him and pray for his life. Honestly, there were moments when I did want to seek revenge! But instead, I obeyed.
And as a result — It didn’t happen immediately, but after months of obedience — I found myself wanting good things for him. My reaction towards hearing his name was positive and I found myself feeling sorrow for him when I learned of some unfortunate circumstances that came his way.
Through obedience, God’s truth healed me.
My circumstances had not changed.
Instead, my heart changed.
This is God’s wisdom.
STRENGTH FOR TODAY
What kind of hardship or adversity are you facing right now? Has your family been negatively impacted by the pandemic? Are you experiencing religious persecution? Are you in a difficult relationship?
These hardships are heavy and, no doubt, have an impact on your everyday life. Can you imagine what it would feel like to have the perspective of my friends, who I mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, whose hardship left them singing praises and having concern about God’s reputation? The truth is, when you gain God’s perspective, you might start seeing your adversity as an advantage, which is explored in this Crosswalk article.
If that kind of response seems impossible, it’s because it is. But when you seek and receive God’s wisdom, He will give you everything you need to gain strength for today.
You simply need to ask, believe, and obey.
I pray that you’ll seek His wisdom today in your adversity.
There’s so much to learn from James 1 about enduring hardships and overcoming adversity. I hope you’ll join my 10-Day Challenge as we study his words and learn the A.R.T. of Survival. Register today!
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip