A ROUGH ROW

Romans 8:20-25

Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through MANY TRIBULATIONS enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

Someone has described the Christian life as headed into a storm, in a storm, or coming out of a storm. The question for the believer is not if trials will come, but what to do when they come. Jesus said we would enter the kingdom of God through many tribulations (Acts 14:22). Paraphrased in today’s language, Jesus might say we have a rough row to hoe before we enter God’s presence.

Accepting the blunt reality of trial and hardship is the first step to dealing with adversity. The Christian is no more immune to cancer or hurricanes than the non-Christian. The ruin of the Fall and the entrance of sin into the universe adversely affect both man and creation (Romans 8:22).

We must realize that the primary purpose of adversity is to expose our weakness and drive us to fresh trust and dependence on Jesus Christ. Jesus wants us to trust Him with each burden, each problem, each setback.

He knows that as we trust Him, we will ADVANCE IN OUR ADVERSITY. In our weakness, we can discover His strength. The winds of financial misfortune, illness, divorce, or death may be too much for us to handle, but nothing is too complicated or burdensome for God.

Dear Lord, please help me to realize that the primary purpose of adversity is to expose my weakness and drive me to fresh trust and dependence upon You.

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