top of page

How are you handling Adversity?

How do you deal with hard times? Why does the Lord even allow them in our lives?

Rebekah Lyons, writing at, shares lessons she learned after adopting a little girl with Down’s syndrome who has had to learn resilience in the midst of adversity.

“But we have this treasure [the gospel of Jesus] in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9, ESV).

I’ve discovered that the Bible doesn’t promise we’ll have easy, carefree lives if we follow Jesus. In fact, it teaches quite the opposite. As believers in Christ, we’re bound to suffer even more adversity as we live countercultural lives in a world antagonistic to our faith. We will be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. Still, Paul promised that if we face inevitable adversity head-on with the power of the gospel and we practice inner renewal day by day, we can cultivate a life of resilience.

Adversity can come as the result of choices we make but can also come in the form of hardship that happens to us. What kind of adversity have you been through? Maybe it’s losing a job, a loved one, a marriage. Or starting a job, raising a child, committing to marriage. Realizing you don’t have enough money to pay the bills. Discovering that you can’t bear children or that the child you bore has a life-threatening addiction. Caring for a parent with a disease that requires significant medical attention. Maybe you’re the parent who needs caring for.

…Adversity will try to take you out. But if you allow God to lead you in and through adversity, you can emerge a more resilient person.

None of us want to experience adversity. We all prefer smooth sailing, easy lives with continual answered prayers. Some Christian teaching mistakenly proclaims that the life of faith somehow entitles us to a smooth and painless ride through life, and that if we’re not traveling first class, it’s only because we don’t have enough faith. It would be wonderful if this were true. But I know from experience and the teaching of Scripture that it is not. Jesus warned us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Surprisingly, adversity is essential to your Christian growth. The Bible emphasizes that trials have a purpose: they teach us valuable lessons and help us become more like Jesus. James 1:2-4 declares, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” In order to become mature, we must learn to persevere. How do we learn to persevere? By experiencing trials and adversity!

What a paradigm shift, a radical change in perspective. Don’t grind your teeth when trouble comes. Instead, rejoice! Through adversity, hard times, and problems, the Lord is doing something valuable and necessary in your life to help conform you to the image of His Son. It is all designed to help you look more like Jesus.


This Sunday, February 18, we will continue our new teaching series, “Going Deeper!”, with the fundamental truth, “The Necessity of Adversity!” Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We livestream every Sunday to both locations and would love to have you join us.

If you are in the Honolulu area, start your week by joining together for Bible Study each Sunday morning at 9:30am. There are classes for all ages, so bring the kids to Sunday School. The Adult Class will begin a new study this week entitled “The Cross”. Please don’t miss it!

Aloha ke Akua!


bottom of page