Overcoming Adversities by the Power of God

Overcoming Adversities by the Power of God

By Jun P. Espina | Last updated on November 20th, 2019 at 09:06 am

An exposition on the triumphant existence of
the godly people as outlined in the Holy Scriptures.

Let’s Beat Our Sufferings

overcoming adversities by the power of god

Your life runs from a guiding principle you may not be interested in fixing or discarding altogether. Life is God-given, and He alone can beautify it. Proverbs 14:12 says: “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” “There is a way” or Guiding Principle essential in the joyous fulfillment of our life journey. This 344-page book, “Overcoming Adversities by the Power of God,” seeks to give the reader the wisdom to understand life’s circumstances and ordeals and how to beat our sufferings from the wisdom of the Good Book.

Be Victorious in this Sojourn

The clash between expectation and reality heightens our confusion and unhappiness. Problems come into sight like the essential additive in our daily menu. The spouses’ incompatibility rules in most homes and the high prices of commodities, the worries of our health, the fake news and other alarms ringing in the social media, and the ugly truth of aging—these are nerve-racking realities of today’s life! Depression and suicide cases move in giant strides. We need to get ourselves more prepared for all that will come from the unseen horizons of the future. This material is an “exposition on the triumphant existence of the godly people as outlined in the Holy Scriptures.” We need to know how to overcome our adversities by the power of God. Life is short, but we can prolong it by a victorious sojourn.

Lines of Victory in Every Affliction

This book covers the author‘s (a church pastor for 14 years) three-decade experience of facing life‘s trials by the power of the God of the Scriptures through faith in Christ. “Overcoming Adversities by the Power of God” is a volume comprising real-life stories and Bible illustrations of victories amidst the storms of the mortal being. “Each chapter though,” states the introduction page of this material, “conveys the Bible teaching on the Christian victory over life’s adversities. On the whole, I crocheted man‘s willingness to believe and God’s grace in the exhortation. I could not write about Christ’s suffering the agony of His cross, for example, without mentioning His triumphant resurrection. It is suffocating, just like painting a thick and dangerous forest without a little path of exit. I tried to supply every affliction I touched with the lines of victory.”

I want to share here the entire Chapter 10 of this book:

THE ROLE OF FAITH IN OVERCOMING ADVERSITIES

“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4-5, NLT).

Faith Builds the Person in Christ

FAITH MATTERS SINCE it is a part of life. Without faith, human existence would be miserable if not impossible, for in it hangs all institutions of government and society. No civilization can ever stand without it. Our banking system, for example, is one structure where people deposit money based on faith alone that when needed it can be withdrawn.

Faith, therefore, is one of our most precious and upstanding principles in confronting our doubts and fears. How did you know, for instance, that the guy who took your beloved wife and son to the airport was a professional cabdriver? With faith that all is well with you today, you would have peace. Faith prevents your incoherent suspicions of life from spreading and conquering your mind and soul. For “faith is the assurance of things hoped for,” according to the Holy Bible, “the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). It is the eye of our soul and the foundation of a hopeful, happy, and serene existence.

Faith builds the person, whereas doubt and skepticism just lead one to stagnation, hopelessness, and defeat.

What kind of faith that which overcomes life’s adversities and gives victory, assurance and hope? Well, taught the apostle John: “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4-5, NLT).

Expel Faith Out and Paralyze Your Chance of Winning

No one would deny that Science gives humanity great hospitals, electricity, aircraft, machines. And we know that it feeds not on faith but solid facts through research. But science is not everything. Scientists die without understanding death. The genius of Edison or Einstein means nothing when tested by a spiritual gauge. Life is a mystery and death (its twin) requires real faith in the Holy Scriptures. Death is unverifiable; we don’t know what it is. But Christ crushed death by His resurrection. Faith in Christ’s words, therefore, strengthens our hope for the good news of an endless life and eternal joy.

Expel faith out of your heart if you want to keep checking your chair if it can still hold you. There are tons of similar madness that your endless suspicion and faithlessness may bring in to your pathetic course of unbelief. Paralyze your chances of winning by skepticism and needless alarms. Believe therefore and overcome your trials in the power of God.

Faith is power. Emerson said: “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” If you trust your Creator, you have victory over the unexplained, even death. Wrote Paul: “ . . . revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). Death is the greatest of all the unknowns of life. But we can face it head-on if we believe in Christ. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

Is Self-Confidence Necessary for the Believers?

Someone asked this question: “If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?” Well, I tried self-confidence as my guiding philosophy before I became a Christian. It didn’t work when I saw my father died in my arms. We need the power of God to overcome our adversities in this world. “So you see,” explained the apostle Peter, “the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment” (2 Pet. 2:9, NLT).

The biblical view on human adversities suggests two things. First, they are from the evil one; and, second, we need God to rescue us from the evil one. (cf. Matt. 6:13) For our fight is not against an ordinary man walking in the street but “against the world forces of this darkness,” the army of wickedness; the demonic rulers and powers in the heavenly places. (cf. Eph. 6:12)

Faith builds and strengthens us. Life’s calamities may come in many shapes. “What then shall we say to these things?” said Paul, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

It’s the point. Self-confidence loses power “against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (as taught by the apostle Paul).

The term Satan, for example, means accuser or adversary. He is in our trials to accuse and confuse us. But we become victorious when Christ’s is on our side. “If God is for us, who is against us?”

Assume an imminent death (as with those facing terminal ailments) since it spells out the taste of the most ominous of life experiences. A dying young Christian, goes a story, gave his parents the thumbs up a few hours before passing away. The Internet, for another example, reported ISIS terrorists beheading more Christians in Syria. The power of the Christian faith knocks down even the threat at death’s door. Wrote Luke:

“but those who . . . attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead . . .. cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection” (Luke 20:35-36).

Self-confidence is not what we need to win in this world but faith and confidence in the risen Lord, Jesus Christ and in His blessed word.

The Confused Path of Atheism

Every design we see in nature like the awesome mountain ranges or the colorful butterflies happens without God, the Designer, according to atheism. It is like eating breakfast without a cook preparing the food or building a house without a carpenter. Atheism is a mere intellectual pride and a denial of biblical truth.

Taught the apostle Paul that God proved Himself; therefore, the atheist was wrong in teaching that God is but a myth.

[B]ecause that which is known about God,” said Paul, “is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” (Rom. 1:19-23).

God is known by His works.

The philosopher Antony Flew wrote the following “Presumption of Atheism” as quoted by the BBC:

“If it is to be established that there is a God, then we have to have good grounds for believing that this is indeed so.

“Until and unless some such grounds are produced we have literally no reason at all for believing; and in that situation the only reasonable posture must be that of either the negative atheist or the agnostic.

“So the onus of proof has to rest on the proposition.

“It must be up to them: first, to give whatever sense they choose to the word ‘God’, meeting any objection that so defined it would relate only to an incoherent pseudo-concept; and, second, to bring forward sufficient reasons to warrant their claim that, in their present sense of the word ‘God’, there is a God.” 1

Philosopher Flew was asking for “good grounds for believing [that God exists] that this is indeed so.” The greatest teacher about the existence of God was Jesus Christ. He said He was one with God, the Father. For the confirmation of Christ’s teachings and claims, He rose from the grave. Today, Christ is alive—He can hear our prayers. This truth alone is satiating intellectually. Do we need proof of God? Christ’s resurrection breaks up all the reasonings and frontages of atheism.

While faith builds hope and assures immortality in Christ (since He resurrected!), atheism offers nothing except cynicism and bitterness towards all Christian biblical claims. It is nothing more than a doctrine of deception and error.

Belief in Christ breeds morality while atheism destroys what is moral and sides with homosexuality instead. The apostle Paul said God’s invisible attributes are known by His creations, but people don’t honor Him as God. For this reason, “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.” Unbelief in the God of the Scriptures delivers homosexuality since “God gave them over to degrading passions.” (Rom. 1:26)

Atheism is a confused path. It does not help overcome adversities since God is rejected in that tenet.

Faith Builds Confidence

Faith creates confidence in the living God. Without faith in Christ, life gyrates on the fear of death and the limbo of hopelessness and uncertainty. When the adversities of life come, the unbelievers cry just the same for supernatural intervention to a god they know not. Hopelessness (depression, self-pity, some evil thoughts like suicide) would then flood their pent-up emotion since they don’t have Christ’s Spirit of courage, love and hope to face life’s trials by the power of God. The last words of the prominent atheists we can Google easily proved our point. They died with the feel of God’s wrath piercing into their souls. Wrote the apostle John, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14). We have the confidence as believers since Christ helps us overcome our difficulties.

Faith’s Integrality in the Architectures of Life

But, why is faith neglected; people seem blind of its existence? Faith is there when a meter reader decides our water bill even though he has never glanced at our water meter. It is there when we allow a taxi driver to take charge of our beloved child’s life. It is there when you allow your wife to visit a friend or stay in a hotel alone for a week. Faith is integral in the essences of life. It assures us of things yet unseen, just like our scriptural faith and trust in our Lord Jesus. Christ’s teaching on the subject is clear: “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed” (John 20:29).

Faith is power. How much leverage do we have in facing our tsunamis if our faith is anchored on and honored by the Creator of the universe? “For the Scripture says, ‘WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED’” (Rom. 10:11).

Taught the apostle Paul that faith shields us. It is our power to stand firm and resist the evil day and “to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (v. 16) We need to stand firm, said the Holy Scriptures, against the schemes of the devil, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against demonic powers; the rulers and world forces in this darkness. (cf. Eph. 6:10-12) We can overcome the adversities in this world if, by believing, we have Christ’s Spirit in our soul.

Faith’s Role in Mary’s Sense of Direction

Mary Magdalene didn’t know much about theology—or of Christ’s resurrection! In the Book of John and in Chapter 20, we find John and Peter left her alone as she was in tears looking for the Lord’s lost corpse. Pleased with her faith, our Lord “appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons” (Mark 16:9).

Magdalene’s faith loads with far-reaching lessons.

What was in Mary’s heart, for example, which had prompted the Lord to give the former the very first glance of His resurrection? The story of Mary Magdalene at the tomb of Jesus illustrates a Christ-honoring faith. Reported John that Mary stayed while he and Peter returned to base.

Peter and John left the tomb. Jesus’ corpse disappeared and to stay for a while was unreasonable, let alone a waste time needed for the urgent brainstorming session with their fellow followers on how to recover Christ’s dead body.

But Mary stayed and waited and then searched the place, for action is faith’s twin, even though her faith appeared buckled and illogical! (See: John 20:1-18.)

I am always amazed of Matthew 6:33 in my experience even before I became a Christian. It says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). James also taught it when he wrote, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8b). The hyper-Calvinists dislike this teaching of seeking God’s face for they want God to believe for them. Mary Magdalene was not a hyper-Calvinist though, but a SEEKER of God in her heart. While Peter and John returned to their group for a groupthink, Mary searched for Jesus’ corpse, the unmistakable proof of faith, devotion, and love for our dear Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

How did Magdalene stay? Well, Mary’s faith played a role in her decision to search for Jesus’ corpse alone while it was still dark. Pleased with the lucid gleam of her faith, Jesus appeared to her in the early moments of His resurrection.

If we are confused or at the misty crossroads of life, our faith in Christ gets us going by the sense of direction possible only in Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. Indeed, we can overcome life’s adversities by the power of God in the name of Christ.

Lessons from the Atheists

Leading atheists described their lack of faith in Christ and the Holy Scriptures through their last words. Anton LaVey, for example, the author of the Satanic Bible and the founder of the Church of Satan, uttered these words on his deathbed: “Oh my, oh my, what have I done, there is something very wrong . . . there is something very wrong.”

Thomas Payne, a notable atheist writer, said the following before dying:

“Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone, O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. O Lord, help me! Christ, help me! . . . No, don’t leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of Hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.”

Unbelief is just unreasonable given the unknowns of life. Trust Christ and all His promises completely. It is the secret all Christians possess and will never give away. Christ strengthens the weak. He loves the unloved, forgives the sinners, saves those who would repent and trust Him as only Savior and Lord.

Faith in Christ builds the person and saves the miserable life. Whereas, atheism only strips the soul off with hope, peace, and eternal joy. The life of darkness and the constant fear of death become the atheist’s portion in this world. Christ invited us to come to Him. Our rejection and unbelief is ruinous to our hope of immortality with God.

Our lesson from atheism and other types of Christian rejection is clear. Unbelief does not help us overcome life’s adversities. ~


Notes:
[1] Reasons people choose atheism. bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/atheism/beliefs/reasons_1.shtml. Accessed October 16, 2017.
[2] Lamm, Bri. Atheist Doctor’s Last Words to His Wife Are “Don’t Call 911”—7 Days Later, He Hears “You’re Going Back.” faithit.com. http://faithit.com/proof-of-heaven-brain-dead-neurosurgeon-eben-alexander-experiences-afterlife/. Accessed October 16, 2017.

 
 

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