“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs. 24:10).
What is adversity? Webster dictionary defines adversity as “a state of serious or continued difficult situation. A time of tragedy or misfortune.” Times of adversity are tough times. Adversity is inevitable in the life of a nation and for individuals.
In a positive sense, adversity could reveal the purpose of God for us. We often ask in times of adversity, “Lord, why me?” God may be about to unfold something during adversity. Times of adversity are times of discovery and inventions? They say, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Adversity they say, creates opportunities. This means, we can either take advantage of adversity or stay to lament and brood about it. When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents ‘danger’ and the other represents ‘chance or opportunity’. Joseph, Job and David were unveiled through the adversities of life. Paul went through a lot of adversities and came out stronger. Adversity is a time to reflect on alternative strategies or ways to survive.
SIGNS OF NATIONAL ADVERSITY
There is no doubt that Nigeria and her citizens are passing through hard times. What are the signs of adversity in our time?
The agitation by the Niger Delta Avengers which has disrupted crude oil export and gas pipelines.
The menace and killings by the Fulani Cattle rearers
The Economic meltdown as a result of the corruption of the previous government and the fall in oil prices.
The resultant state of Unemployment.
The high rate of Inflation.
The tomato crisis and scarcity in the nation.
The “army worm” pest that has affected maize farming in the Southwest of Nigeria.
Incessant incidences of wife killings.
Killing of innocent citizens by religious fanatics.
WHICH IS THE WAY OUT FOR US?
How do we manage or survive times of adversity? How do we strengthen ourselves in time of adversity? We can learn how to manage adversity from the experiences of those who had gone through it. We have many of such examples in life and in the Bible. There is a saying that “tough times don’t last, but tough people do”
This means that, if we manage ourselves well, we shall wade through the present tough times. Nigeria went through a similar situation in the 1980s.
DAVID AND ADVERSITIES
David was familiar with the adversities of life. We can see two instances in 1 Samuel 23:14-16 and 30:1-8. David encouraged himself in the Lord, sought the Lord and was strengthened by the visit of Jonathan during a time of adversity. Also, from 1 Chronicles 12:8-22, God sent helpers and supporters to David in times of adversity. May God send you helpers in this time of adversity.
JOB AND ADVERSITY
When Job faced adversity, he encouraged himself. He had friends who were more of detractors than supporters. Some of Job’s greatest words were made during his time of adversity (Job 2:9,10; 14:7-9,14;19:25,26; 23:8-14). It is a testimony to Job’s resilience that he came out of adversity much stronger in faith and richer in material blessings. May this be your experience!
Samson prayed one of his greatest prayers during adversity Judges 16:28-30
PAUL AND ADVERSITIES
Paul was also familiar with adversities of ministry. He was not only an Apostle to the Gentiles, but an Apostle of adversity. Read what he wrote about his personal triumph over adversity in 2 Timothy 3:10-12. Then in Romans 8:35-38, he states for us what our personal attitude should be in time of adversity.
SUGGESTED STEPS TO TAKE IN TIMES OF ADVERSITY
Hunt for good news (Proverbs. 25:25).
Encourage yourself in the Lord. David encouraged himself in the Lord in time of adversity (I Samuel 30:6).
Study the word of God (Psalm 94:12-13).
Prayer (Psalm 120:1).
Worship and Praise to God in the of adversity brings strength. (2 Chronicles 20).
Seek for advice in times of adversity.
Make bold declaration Habakkuk 3:19
It may seem contradictory for us as a church, to be talking of the harvest in time of adversity. But let us remember, that Ruth was going through a time of personal adversity when she arrived to her harvest season in Bethlehem. Yes, time of adversity could be the best time for the harvest. Men are striped of all their defences and security during adversity. Men are most open and humble to receive the word of God in time of adversity.