How Do You Face Adversity…and Blessings?

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18

I have a friend who gives her oldest male dog pain medication each morning. Ole Buck is arthritic and slow, but the meds seems to really help. It’s a bitter pill, and he won’t take it if the owner gives it to him alone. No matter how much he needs it or how far back in his mouth she puts it, he just spits it out. So, the loving master wraps it in a thin piece of ham or turkey to temper the taste. Sometimes she gives the other dogs in her kennel a bit of meat too, but not always. When she doesn’t “share”, the other dogs look so dejected…as if they’re unloved. She usually gives them a biscuit or dog treat, but not always the prize treat of meat. They don’t understand. They don’t know the bitter pill that Buck has to swallow. And so it is with our lives.

When faced with something unpleasant, we usually do everything we can to avoid it. We’d surely spit it out if we could. Even when we know it’ll be good for us, that we need it, we often resist. How about dental check-ups, spring cleaning, or studying for an important exam? How about confronting that guy at work, asking for forgiveness, or forgiving? And sometimes we just don’t understand. We don’t really know what we need. God does though, and sometimes it’s a bitter pill. Sometimes it’s graciously wrapped with comfort, peace, and even blessings, but at times it’s just raw suffering. Always, God is there to minister to us. Always, He loves.

Sometimes when we see others’ blessings, we wonder why we can’t have some too. But we don’t always see the struggles others face. Maybe that free trip to Hawaii is just the blessing a person needs to temper a hidden grief. Maybe that raise is just what he needs to help him through his son’s drug-rehab expenses. Maybe her sudden healing is just what she needs to face the betrayal she will soon discover. Only God knows the troubles we each face, the burdens we carry, and what lies ahead. Only God knows exactly what we need.

Obviously, not every blessing is to cover pain. God is generous and loves His children. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matt. 7:11

I’m glad that God knows the hearts and ways of man…and that He treats us all as individuals. He sees our deepest needs and He supplies. He doesn’t always cover over the bitter things in life, but His grace is always sufficient. He always offers hope and unconditional love.

Let’s be thankful in everything, knowing God is in control. Let’s appreciate His absolute goodness and understanding. Let’s face our struggles with confidence that God has a purpose and rejoice in others’ blessings as well as our own. His blessings aren’t equal, but when we really step back and take a good look, they’re always abundant!

The Power of Truth:
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Cor. 12:9a

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matt. 5:4

“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” John 1:16

Suggestion for Prayer:
Thank God for His blessings and for any struggles you face. Acknowledge His goodness in everything.