Staying Strong Amid Adversity

Shutterstock

Of the many recurring themes throughout the Bible is that of staying strong amid adversity, as God through the prophets, Jesus and his disciples taught many lessons of strength and warned of challenges Christians should expect.

The road will not be smooth but do not fear

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

–Joshua 1:9

An oft-repeated lesson throughout the Bible is that of the adversary, suffering, challenges we will all face as human beings. Rich or poor, healthy or ill, no matter the nation in which we dwell, or one’s ethnicity – no one is immune or impervious to struggle.

The apostle Paul warned of the Christian life and life in general:

“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 4:8-9

Knowing what we are going to face, we need to remember that we are never alone – God is always there for us.

God is with us in the worst of times, as it says in this brief passage from Psalm 23“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”

Welcome life’s challenges as growing opportunities

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

– James 1:2-4

There is a popular saying: “What does not kill you makes you stronger.”

Sometimes well-meaning parents try to shield their children from any difficulties in life. However, just as a tree branch becomes thicker and stronger struggling against the wind, likewise do human beings in their challenges.

Christian persecution

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,”

– 2 Timothy 3:12

Jesus and his disciples warned of the persecution of Christians will face.

Christ was aware of the future,

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”

– John 15:18

In our present time, Christian persecution around the world is one of the biggest human rights issues of this era. Indeed, according to Forbes in January 2021, around one in eight Christians worldwide live in countries where they may suffer very high or extreme levels of persecution. According to Open Doors USA, an organization that has been assisting persecuted Christians for over 60 years in more than 60 countries, around 340 million Christians are experiencing high levels of persecution for their faith at this time.

But hold onto your faith and be of good cheer. Jesus said:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

– Matthew 5:10