2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
This is the verse that the Lord has placed so heavily on my heart, as I sit in a hotel room in Charlotte, North Carolina. My roommate for the weekend and very close friend, Alex, is forced to sit out this season because of a torn ACL. If you watched the Introduction Video or you know me, I tore my ACL four years ago and it still remains one of the most significant chapters of my testimony.
Battling injury is nothing short of adversity. Not performing our best, defeating ourselves mentally, physical tiredness—all these trials that get in the way of competition—they are all adversity.
It leads me to the question: Why must we have to face this adversity?
As I experienced four years ago, as Alex is experiencing right now, and even as I experienced yesterday when I struck out multiple times in our game, this adversity reminds us that we are mere humans in desperate need of a perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing God. Adversity makes God real in our lives.
Will Wyatt, in his devotional Discovery: God’s Answers to Our Deepest Questions says this about adversity:
“When we go through a difficult circumstance, we usually handle it in one of two ways. We either ignore God and try to handle it on our own, or we turn to God, trusting Him to guide and sustain us through it. If we trust in the Lord in a difficult situation and see His faithfulness to us, it becomes easier to trust Him when the next struggle comes.”
The last five words of that quote are “when the next struggle comes.”
Undoubtedly, life is full of trials. Whether big or small, each day seems to bring a new challenge of it’s own.
Luckily, like 2 Corinthians 4 tells us, we are being renewed day by day. Every day we wake up, we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old is gone and the new has come! (2 Cor. 5:17)
Not only so, but our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all.
What is seen is our injuries, our mistakes, our errors, and our circumstances.
What is unseen is a God who is faithful that desires us to rely on Him to carry us through these trials.
What is temporary is our struggles, our failures, our guilt and our pressures.
What is eternal is a God that set us free from the burden of this adversity and desires us to trust that He is in control and all things happen according to His good will.
James 1:2-4: “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.”
We consider our adversity joy because it creates in us perseverance and an opportunity for a stronger faith, a faith that brings us to our knees to rely on Jesus for our every action.