January 22, 2019

Life Lessons on Facing Adversity

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 22, 2019

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

I have a plant named Phil. My husband and I granted him this name because it’s short for philodendron, and also because he earned the name due to a very unfortunate experience that he had when he first became a part of our family.

When my husband and I first married, I wanted a plant to brighten up the kitchen. “Just something little,” I said. “And something fake so that I don’t have to water it.” I definitely don’t have a green thumb, so something no-maintenance sounded ideal. “Let’s go to IKEA. They have fake plants,” I said. My husband agreed and off we went.

When we arrived at the store, they had quite a few plastic plants to choose from but I zeroed in on a small philodendron. “This will be perfect!” I said. I was amazed at how real it looked.

Upon arriving at home, I took the plant out of its little plastic pot and shook off the fake dirt. “They have come a looooong way with these fake plants. Even the dirt looks real and it even has fake roots!” I marveled. I cut off the artificial roots with scissors and carefully put my new purchase inside a small, glass terrarium, then placed it on the kitchen island. It looked beautiful. And best of all, I wouldn’t have to water it.

During clean up, I noticed something printed on the side of the plastic pot. It was a symbol of the sun! And there was also a picture of a little water pitcher! “Oh nooooo! Care instructions!” I shouted. “It’s real!”

I took the pot to show my husband who was mowing the yard. “You mean it’s real?!” he shouted over the roar of the mower. “Yep!” I shouted back. And that was the beginning of our relationship with Phil. And let me tell you . . .  Phil is a fighter. He survived being replanted in a new pot without roots and he even thrived. We love him so much that now he is a part of our family.

This experience with Phil reminds me of 3 principles that we can all put into practice when life hurts.

  1. When someone does you wrong, don’t let it stop you from being who God has made you to be. It’s easy when someone hurts us to shut down, become bitter, or feel defeated. But this isn’t God’s way. Christ is always holding healing out to us, and you can even thrive in spite of what’s been done to you.
  2. Healing happens when you have care and love, not only from God, but care from those who know Him. When you’re hurting, it’s easy to shut down and isolate. Don’t do it. Reach out for the care of others in a Christ-centered community.
  3. God may or may not protect you from trouble, but He will get you through trouble. We do ourselves a big disservice when we expect life to be problem free. God hasn’t promised that life will be without difficulty, but He has promised that He will be with us and help us grow through every adversity if we trust Him.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).

Prayer

Lord, thank you that there is no hardship or trouble that I will experience that you will not help me to get through. You are always with me, will help me grow, and you will sustain me. No heartache is ever wasted. Amen.


Application

Praise God for His goodness and that you are not a victim, but a victor in Him.


Related Reading

James 1:2-4; Psalm 34:19; Isaiah 26:3


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God hasn’t promised life will be without difficulty, but He has promised He will be with us through difficulty. #WisdomHunters #adversity


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Comments

  1. Fern Nichols says:

    I pray for this ministry and truly thank God for Wisdom Hunters. My very first devotion was great. So much was given to me from this devotion to direct me straight to the heart of God. Just a blessing!!!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Fern,
      Thank you so much for your sweet words about the devotional and the Wisdom Hunter’s Ministry! We are grateful for your prayers and so very thankful this devotional (your first one! YEA!) spoke to you. I have to agree with you, this devotional spoke to me too! I loved hearing about “Phil’s rough start” and the 3 lessons Shana learned “from Phil”.
      And can I just say, Welcome to the Wisdom Hunter’s family! We are happy you are now in the family and want you to know we are here for you if you have any questions or concerns. We also have a prayer team, Fern, if you have any prayer needs that you would like us to pray about (you can email me gwynne@wisdomhunters.com if you do). Fern, please check out our website http://www.wisdomhunters.com and catch up on past devotionals and learn more about Wisdom Hunters.
      Again, welcome to the Wisdom Hunter’s family. We are thankful that you are now a fellow wisdom hunter!
      Grateful for you,
      Gwynne
      “I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.”


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