The Source Of Our Adversity
When experiencing hardship, we usually wonder why God allows painful situations to come our way. In our minds, this just doesn’t fit with His role as our loving heavenly Father. We also struggle to reconcile our suffering with the realization that an omnipotent God could have prevented it. To understand what’s going on, we must consider the possible sources of adversity.
• A Fallen World. When sin entered the world, suffering came with it. God could have protected us from these harmful effects by making us like puppets who couldn’t choose sin, but that would mean we’d also be unable to choose to love Him, since love, by its very nature, is voluntary.
• Our Own Doing. Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble with foolish or sinful choices. If the Lord stepped in and rescued us from every negative consequence, we’d never grow into mature believers.
• Satanic Attack. The devil is our enemy. To hinder anything God wants to do in and through believers, Satan will never cease to harass us. His goal is to destroy our lives and our testimonies, thereby making us weak and useless for the Lord’s purposes.
• God’s Sovereignty. Ultimately, the Lord is in charge of all adversity that comes our way. To deny His involvement contradicts His power and sovereignty over creation.
For us to accept that God allows—or even sends—affliction, we must see adversity from His perspective. Is your focus on the pain of your experience or on God and His faithfulness? As believers, we’re assured that no adversity comes our way unless He can use it for our benefit and His good purposes.
An evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. Matthew 12:35
The concept of evil has returned to the world’s vocabulary. Because of atrocities by jihadists in the Middle East, we’ve seen beheadings, crucifixions, genocide, and murder by immolation. Many secularists try to avoid the term “evil,” for they don’t want to admit the existence of God-ordained absolute moral values. Yet the Bible uses the word “evil” nearly 500 times, and the presence of evil in today’s world is hard to deny.
According to Jesus, evil actions proceed from evil hearts of evil people. Notice the triple evil in Matthew 12:35: evil people, evil treasures, evil things. At its core, evil is anti-Christian and anti-Christ. One day the ultimate Antichrist will appear as evil personified. Until then there will be forerunners of the Antichrist in the world (1 John 2:18), but God knows how to protect His children from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
Jesus dealt a mortal blow to evil by rising from the dead, and He will banish evil forever when He returns. Evil is not an eternal part of our lives. We can be assured the Antichrist—and all antichrists—will be terminated in the end.
If you are under the power of evil, and you want to get under the power of God, cry to Him to bring you over to His service; cry to Him to take you into His army. Evangelist D. L. Moody
Recommended Reading: Matthew 12:33-37