Growing in Adversity – Men’s Breakfast at Celebration Church Zimbabwe
I had the real pleasure of speaking at the Men’s Breakfast hosted by Celebration Church Zimbabwe. Pastor Albert Ngalu and the team there were most welcoming and are doing such an amazing job to bring men together in order to grow together in all things pertaining to life.
My main points were:
We need a solid doctrine of suffering and to process matters pertaining to adversity in light of the whole counsel of Scripture. When thinking about hard times, it is always important to know that:
- God is always sovereign and in control
- The devil is always lurking around seeking to distract, disrupt and destroy
- We always have a responsibility to make wise choices, submit to God and resist the devil
There is no room for triumphalism which says there are no problems really and we are triumphant in all things. It might sound slick but we much find the rich process of dealing with hard times and drawing closer to God.
Paul says to the Romans to “glory in their suffering” (Rom 5:3) and James instructs us to “count is all joy when we face trials of many kinds”. The reason is that these produce perseverance and character in us. If we would embrace that then we will treat tough times as treasure, necessary for our growth, development and Christian maturity. On of the key ways that God produces good fruit in us is by allowing us to face the heat and pressure. This is how maturity comes. Not easy, but true.
In 2 Cor 4:18 Paul calls our troubles “light and momentary”. How can this be? This is in light of all of eternity that awaits in all its glory. This world that is full of trouble is not our home. We’re just passing through. We pray and work to bring more of heaven to earth in increasing measure but let’s not settle. One day all these troubles will be gone and a thing of the past as God moves us on to His perfect place. So hang on and fix your eyes on Heaven.
God always has a purpose, always! We can either focus on our troubles, complain, moan and wallow in self-pity or we can pull ourselves up and ask God to show us His purpose in every situation and moment. This allows us to show up and to live life on purpose. It means that tough times can also be our most productive and that deliver real impact in this world. So yes life is full of adversity but God is always full of purpose. Now let’s live life!