Thank you, God, for adversity
By Jessica Brodie
At lunch the other day with a friend, she admitted she’d always gotten the impression I’d lived a charmed life, that everything had always been pleasant for me, that I’d never been through any kind of difficulty. I almost choked on my salad.
She couldn’t be further from the truth. While I am blessed in so many, many ways, I am definitely no stranger to hardship.
My childhood was scarred with alcoholism and divorce. I moved so many times I’ve lost count. I was painfully shy. My family members have battled everything from sexual abuse to eating disorders to mental illness to cancer and more. Once, as an adult, I experienced a time of such financial despair that I didn’t know how I would make it through the week, yet pride (my constant, sinful companion) forced me to hide this from everyone I knew. Over the last couple of years I’ve lost several extremely close family members. I’ve been divorced and remarried, and our blended family has four kids ages almost-10, 11, 12 and 13. I work outside the home, as well as second and third “side hustles” in the home, and I’m one of the busiest people I know. Sometimes I don’t know which end is up.
And yet—I’m so thankful! I feel so much joy, and I am so blessed! In spite of difficulties in my family, nearly all of us are now true Christians and encourage each other in our faith walk. Each of my kids (biological and step) has a personal relationship with Christ. My husband does, too.
I am so thankful for the difficulties I experienced. They have deepened me. Without them, I would be an entirely different person. I would not be the mom or wife I am today. I would not be the friend or sister or daughter I am today. I would not be the writer I am today. I probably wouldn’t have the empathy I have today.
The bad things we go through aren’t easy, but they’re not supposed to be. I see them as the things that build character. They also draw me closer to God.
Today, I look back on my life and feel such gratitude for the adversity I’ve been through. I am certain there is more adversity ahead of me, because that’s life, but with Jesus by my side I feel peace about that.
Life on earth wasn’t meant to be perfect. Heaven awaits.
I leave you with a few of my favorite Scriptures right now for times of trial. (One of these days I’m going to make a T-shirt with each one of them proclaimed across the front!)
I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 CEB)
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10 CEB)
“I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33 CEB)
Those who stand firm during testing are blessed. They are tried and true. They will receive the life God has promised to those who love him as their reward. (James 1:12 CEB)
Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20 CEB)
Remember—whatever you are going through, you are not alone. We’re all in this together, and as Christians, it helps when we lean on each other, and on Jesus.