The Crucible of Adversity - Part 1

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

A “crucible” is a container where metals get melted as they experience very high temperatures. The Bible indicates that believers resemble “containers” in a certain sense:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

In an ordinary crucible, the extreme heat melts down the metals. But when God’s children experience adversity, God performs a different kind of work in them. As we endure adversity, God accomplishes His own purposes in our life, all for our spiritual betterment. Consider the wise words of James:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

We can ignore spam in our inbox, sales people and advertisers, but we cannot ignore hardships. We feel the hurt, and then seek relief. Once we conclude the adversity comes from God, we begin to listen.

Application

1. Seek God during times of difficulties. This is our first duty, and we should ask, “Is God trying to tell me something?” Of course, God uses all situations to instruct us, but we tend to listen more in times of distress.

2. Make changes during troublesome times. Now that God has our attention, we should make positive changes while experiencing hardships.

3. Thank God for His Fatherly concern for us. When God sees us growing distracted in our walk, He cares enough to apply needed discipline.

Now that we understand God’s purpose for adversity, tomorrow we will consider how to apply this to our relationships.

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