Adversity Test

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

February 28, 2024

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Adversity Test

Read

1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Philippians 4:11 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Think

Facing adversity is a bit like stepping onto the field after going over the game plan in the locker room. That's when the real test kicks off, with challenges popping up, ready to knock us around and leave us a bit battered. Adversity stares us in the face, throwing down the challenge: do we back off or stand firm in our faith?

Now, here's the twist: prosperity isn’t the total opposite of adversity. It's more of a subtle challenge – a bit sneaky. Prosperity ends up being a character test cleverly disguised in all that abundance. Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle nailed it when he said, "Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man, but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity." It's a rare skill to keep your moral, spiritual, and financial balance while tiptoeing on the tricky tightrope of success.

Here's a quirky thing - most of us handle a demotion with more finesse than a promotion. Why, you ask? Well, adversity simplifies things. It gives us no choice but to face it head-on or throw in the towel. On the flip side, prosperity or success doesn't hit you as a test straight away. But, more often than not, it stirs up some discontent. We end up in this never-ending loop of wanting more of that which we already have plenty. And here's the kicker: when we're feeling discontent, it's a sign our focus might be off. It’s when we fix our eyes on Jesus – in seasons of want or plenty – that we find true fulfillment and joy.

Apply

Read Matthew 6:33-34. Adversity and prosperity both have the potential to distract us from our focus on God. How can you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus amidst life's challenges and blessings?

Pray

Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom to discern your will amidst the trials and blessings of life. I surrender my desires and ambitions to you, trusting in your perfect timing and plan for my life. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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