Fortunes and adversity are often seen as two extremes; one is welcomed more than the other. As much as fortunes can bring adversity and adversity can bring fortunes; one seems good and the other bad. We would readily unwrap the box that holds multitudinous fortunes. As for the door that leads down the dark, winding and frightful stairway of adversity, we prefer to keep it locked. It’s true, we all welcome things that bring ease or satisfaction to our lives, much more than we welcome those that bring hardships. God has the welcoming fortunes for us to experience; He includes everyone. But, He also has the not so welcoming adversities for us to endure; He exempts no one. Adversity is God’s instrument; Fortunes are His gifts.
The Father Faced Adversity: Fortunes began with God, and so did adversity. He created a perfect world, embellished it with fortunes too many to itemize; but then, adversity changed everything. The heavenly family had a disagreement and “there was war in heaven.” The Father must have been so devastated to witness a family separation. Imagine a household, where children rebel against parents and then leave. The God who holds the key to the storehouse of fortunes experienced a similar and horrendous adversity. If I were to ask God about His adversity, perhaps He’d say, “Greater love hath no man than this; perfect love drives out fear.” God in His wisdom knew about the looming troubles, but He was willing to endure the adversity so that humanity can reap the ultimatum of fortunes—a loving and eternal relationship with Him.
Jesus Faced Adversity: Lucifer and his crew had to leave heaven. Adversity doesn’t last, but it changes everything else. It also affects the other family members. Heaven was at peace for a while, but the repercussion of one adversity brings a ton of others. God had to send His own son, Jesus Christ to redeem His lost treasures. Imagine having to send your son to war. Imagine the separation from family to fight a battle; but He passionately fights because He loves His country. Our heavenly Father had to endure that kind of separation from His son, to redeem the lost world, because “God so loves the world.” Jesus was willing, but not too excited about the adversity He had to face, He asked God to “let the cup pass.” He made it clear that adversity was not easy for anyone, but every man must, “deny himself, pick up the cross and follow [Him].”
Daniel and Many Others Faced Adversity: If I were to ask Daniel if he preferred staying in his hometown or being taken captive in another country, he would have preferred home. But God had some fortunes for him in the height of his adversity. He became God’s tool for imparting a prophetic message to be played out in the world’s history. Joseph would prefer staying at home with his old father then being thrown in prison; but God made Him governor. Moses would prefer staying away from Egypt; but God made Him a deliver. God has fortunes for us, but adversity may be the vehicle that transports them to us.
You will face Adversity: Now, if you had a choice between the fortunes and adversity, I’m sure you’d say rain down the fortunes, hold back the adversity. If the heavenly Father Himself, Jesus the son and so many bible stalwarts had to face adversity, how can we want to be included in fortunes, but want exemption from adversity?
Frankly, since that first war in Heaven, God’s been in the middle of the war zone. He experiences adversity every second of the day, when He fights to secure your household, dispatches angels to rescue you, rushes to your side at the accident scene, roams the halls of hospitals, and stretches forth His hands to calm our storms.
Yet, He still lavish our world with beauty, grandeur and pastoral goodness. The heavens constantly declare, the oceans dance and the trees clap their hands in praise and adoration of the fortunes endowed to our world. God gave fortunes to every man; He excludes no one. We all have talents. We all breathe His breath. We all wade in the blessings and providence He rains upon us. Each man receives some special fortunes that are only his. Each man receives universal fortunes, such as love, grace, salvation and mercy.
We are glad for fortunes, bring them on; but remember adversity comes with the package. We fear adversity, we all wish for things not to happen to us. We wish not for diseases, we hope not for trials in our family circumstances, failure in our endeavors, but remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.
So if you are in the midst of some real heavy hardships, remember God had some too…even the gruesome death of His son. Not to mention that He keeps experiencing adversity and fighting battles for us; He keeps being “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” He keeps hiding us “under the shadow of His wings.” He dispatches angels lest we “dash our feet against stones.” He “never sleeps” making sure that we are safe.
You may be quick to refute, “He can handle adversity, He’s God.” Well, you’re absolutely correct; He can. So let Him handle yours too. He promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. After the worst is over, God will raise us up to eternal life.
As you face your adversity, it may be hard to believe, but know that God’s in the middle of it, facing it with you. While you are overloaded with life’s problems, He’s still loading you up with fortunes. Sunshine, family that love you, friends that support you, money to sustain you, children to bring you laughter, His words to bring you hope, a fresh new offer of grace each day and His arms of comfort around you.
My prayer for you and me, is that we will be brave like the three Hebrew boys and jump in the fire knowing that “the God whom we serve is able to deliver us.” I pray that we will be brave like Esther and say, “if I perish, I perish.” I pray that we will be bold like Caleb and say, “give me this mountain, …the Lord will be with me.”
Let’s pray that we will be grateful for our fortunes and be bold in our adversities.