Adversity: it’s not always easy to cope with.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
 -Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

It’s not always easy to keep a cheerful disposition and faith-filled attitude in this world. Sometimes terrible things happen that can rock faith to its core. When those things happen, they can call into question beliefs generally held as absolutes that require little investigation. Adversity can come from different sources and can be used to serve evil or to glorify God. As Christians, of course we know which way it should be used. The trick is remembering to turn to Him and finding ways to make it happen.

When my mother died from pancreatic cancer several years ago, I thought I had completely lost my faith. I felt betrayed by God and wondered how He could do such a thing to us and allow her to suffer the way she did at the end of her life. The grace to accept things I cannot control was absent from my life at that time, or so it felt. “God help me” was one phrase never to escape my lips. I was frustrated and angry. God was very patient with me and loved me when I could not comprehend it. There were things I needed to come to terms with. Thank Him that I did. I don’t believe today that God ‘did’ anything to my mother or family at that time — at least not in the sense I suspected at the time. What I think today is that there is a price to pay for free will -that often comes in the form of some unpleasant consequences. While God may not change the circumstances, He can and most certainly will alter the outcome if we only trust Him and ask for His help. With God, all things are surmountable. The key ingredient is faith.

Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. -James 1:2-4 (NLT)

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