How to Face Adversity

Some say adversity is a blessing in disguised and I couldn’t agree more! Adversity is not a misery, but a chance in our lives. However, didn’t we learn from the Bible that our lives should be prosperous and serene if we believe in Jesus Christ? We often find out that this is not always the case. For example, when we look into the book of Jobs, God gave Jobs a lot of adversities and he lost everything he had—his children, wife, wealth, nobility, people, and health.

Why would God do such thing to Jobs? And to us?

It is because He wants to test us. He wants to examine that our hearts and faiths are true to Him. Of course, He is an almighty Lord and already knows them, but he wants us prove to ourselves that our hearts and faiths are real! Through this process, our faiths get mature and harden.

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart” (Proverbs 17:3)

“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:7)

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Yet, when we face such hardships, we often don’t think they are blessings. Instead, we agonize and complain about them. How should we face it? How should we twist adversity into blessing?

  1.  Embrace your adversity

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1: 2-4)

 Do not run away from your hardship! Running away doesn’t mean you are escaped from the hardship. Who can truly be joyful when they face the trials or tests? However, the Bible tells us to do so because “the testing of [our faith] develops perseverance.” When we face adversity and embrace it, we produce the characters of nine fruits of Holy Spirit—“ […] love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. “ (Galatians 5:22-23)

      2.  Pray! Pray! Pray!

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.  You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139: 1-3)

 Adversity is a chance for you to talk to God! Remember that He is giving you the chance to cry out to Him. He is with you most closely when you are facing adversity. When David was running away from Saul, whom tried to kill him, he couldn’t do anything but pray. He finds out that God is always with him and he confesses that God knows everything—He knows David better than himself and guides him on His path. David felt Him most closely when he was in hardship.

3.  Give thanks

“As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.”

(Psalm 18:30)

 Be thankful for your adversity! Thank Him because you are in His boundaries. He is leading you in His way. He is perfect and flawless. Be thankful for your hardships because in the end, He will lead you to victory!

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Gratitude Quiz

How grateful are you today? What are you thankful of? Or have you been forgetful of your gratitude?

As Christians, we know that we have so many things to be grateful of in our lives. We are who we are today, all by God’s unconditional grace and love. We have been washed, renewed, and saved by the blood of Christ, and we have been chosen as His children to live forever in His glorious kingdom.

And God loves those who keep a heart of gratitude. He blesses those who remember to thank Him throughout their lives. God had chosen one man out of all humanity who kept a heart of gratitude for Him, and from him He raised twelve tribes which ultimately become the nation of Israel. Throughout the Bible we learn the stories of men and women whose grateful hearts were loved and blessed by God.

But personally and honestly,  I find that being grateful all the time is rather a very difficult work. I often see myself being irritated by and complaining about the smallest bits of troubles and in many cases the situations get worse because of my lack of gratitude.  I knew that if I said thank you and smiled instead, everything would have had been okay.

How grateful are you? Perhaps taking this Gratitude Quiz developed by a group of psychologists might help you gain an insight to your gratitude life. Take a moment to answer the questions and see your gratitude score here: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/quizzes/take_quiz/6

Most of us are familiar with the idea that gratitude brings miracles. It truly does so, because God blesses the grateful hearts. People even have made an official holiday to give thanks, which is ten days away from today! Let us all remember and restore our heart of gratitude.

I want to share Rev. Goshen Choi’s (who is my pastor) advice for restoring a heart of gratitude:

1) Repeatedly give thanks. Give thanks through praising and singing.

2) Count your blessings. Examine the thread of your life and see how God has blessed you. The blessings come in many different forms through people and events.

3) Express your gratitude. Show it! Act upon your gratitude. Give offering to God to express your heart of thankfulness for everything He has been doing for you. 

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! -Ephesians 5:19-20

 

K.P.

The Heart of Many Thank-you’s

If you were lucky to have amazing parents, friends, and/or teachers, you probably grew up with a lot of advices about how to live life. But one that stands most common among family and friends is this very advice: Be thankful.

Now, if you grew up in a Christian surrounding, you probably heard the same thing but with a little bit of variation. “Thank God for everything in your life.”

You hear it so much, sometimes it goes to the back of your head and God knows when you even remember to properly thank God for everything. But then, there are moments you come to this enlightenment, this realization that truly everything in your life was given by God, all the good and the bad, and you cannot believe how amazing God is and how much He has worked within your life.

People, both big and small, talk about “ways to be happy”. Oh sure, there are plenty of ways. But underneath the joy of happiness, you find that gratitude lies as the strongest foundation of them all. When your heart begins to look at the world and your life with thankful eyes, you understand through thick and thin that everything will not only be “okay” but “great”. You find that the reason you can be joyous of your life is because God is in you, and He is working both night and day, whether we are there to know it or not, to lead your life to His will.

Now, if you are a grumpy old soul reading this post, all these words of gratitude may make your eyes more frown-y, your shoulders more slump-y, and you can’t find what there is to be thankful of! A grumpy soul finds the smiles of a joyous person so distasteful, and quite understandably so. But remember that gratitude does NOT come only when you have fortunate events in your life. No, gratitude is something truly deeper than that. It begins with knowing who you are. It begins with the humble journey of discovering how small and weak you are. When you can see clearly the being that you are, then you begin to see this hovering light of Holiness and Grace above you, so far up in the heavens. You learn through the Words and through the sermons at Church that this Holy Light hovers with grace above the clouds in your life. You learn that the Almighty Christ loves you, that God sent his Beloved Son into this sinful world, to save you and me from death and evil.

You see the shackles that constantly tries to chain you. You see the darkness of the soul seeping into every hole your heart creates. Any emptiness is quickly filled with evil thoughts. You cannot deny this soul we have is evil.

And yet there is but one hope in life. It is the hope of Christ. It is the hope of salvation. Though the toils of man without God is left in the dirt, the work of man in accordance to God’s will is of the heaven’s glory!

Let me share with you a few Bible verses:

Psalms 118:24 – This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Colossians 3:17 – And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Psalms 127:1 – (A Song of degrees for Solomon.) Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Ephesians 1:16 – Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Hebrews 12:28 – Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

Colossians 3:15-20 – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

Psalms 107:1 – O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

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These are but the very few. His words are of rejoice! Let us find gratitude in our hearts, find light in darkness, and seek with prayer and passion that once the Light has been given to us, that we do not let anything take it away.