Love you all, praying for you.
God put this in my heart this morning. How do you handle adversity? What does that even mean? There are two kinds of adversity. (tsarah, and ra-ah) Threat of Loss, and Actual Calamity. Truly the 80/20 rule applies here. Even 99% to 1%. Rarely does actual calamity come – adversity we face is by vast majority the “threat of loss.”
Regarding actual evil or calamity happening? What does God say about this 1%? This kind of adversity is Ra-ah <raw-aw> actual bad, evil, calamity, hurt. About this Ecclesiastes 7:14 says – In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity (evil) consider (see, perceive, advise self). God has made the one as well as the other, so that man should find nothing after him. (meaning – our human understanding cannot know the future) So in the rare occurrence that true adversity becomes a physical reality – and you are actually “going through” what threatened to overtake you - (not in your mind, but in reality) what do you do? God said - Advise yourself! Perceive! - the power of God, the goodness of God (despite any circumstance), that He is always with you in trial. Remember how Paul advised himself (and by the way, Paul faced far more adversity than you or I will ever face.) Here’s how He advised Himself – in that ‘actual adversity’ he occasionally experienced... 2 Corinthians 4:17 – For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. The NLT says – so we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. You can put your trust in God – even during the 1% of actual adversity that may come into your experience.
Now let’s talk about the 99% of the time where adversity is the other kind - (tsarah) the threat of loss – the thoughts the devil perpetually tries to trick you into wasting mental energy on – the threat of loss… loss of health, loss of security, loss of sovereignty, liberty or freedom, loss of advantage, loss of protection, loss of hope, dream or desire, loss of money or benefit, loss of comfort, loss of customary rights and privileges, loss of reputation or honor, loss of relationship.
Funny thing about adversity – it’s always mental before its physical. Long before adversity is a negative occurrence, it is the threat of negative occurrence. This adversity is (tsarah – tsaw-raw’) tightness, figuratively trouble, adversary, affliction, anguish, distress, tribulation, trouble. Most adversity is of this kind - in the mind. Tightness – the threat of loss. So how do you handle this? The devil always brings adversity, to try to ruin you – by devouring you – causing you to fret. That’s why God’s Word says, Do Not Fret, and Fear Not. Often we shallowly view adversity as the ultimate struggle against an evenly matched opponent in the Championship Game. Down 10 in the Fourth Quarter – time to play defense, get every rebound, hit shots, and believe you can win. “Whoever wants it the most…” But this is not real adversity – that’s just competition – opportunity. Adversity comes when the devil comes in like a flood. When it is not evenly matched - it’s not 5 on 5 - it’s hundreds against one – and what’s at stake is not merely a game that few will remember even a year or two from now… What do you do when real adversity comes? - the threat of significant or irreplaceable loss?
Proverbs 24:10 – If you faint in the day of adversity (tsarah), your strength is small. Another version says – if you are slack in the day of adversity, your strength is limited. This is talking about the tsarah kind of adversity – tightness – the threat of evil. To Faint <rafa – raw-faw> means to slacken, let go, let up, let off, let down, forsake, be slothful. Strength – koach <ko-akh> is force, vigor, to be firm, strength, substance, power - your capacity to produce.
God is telling us - under threat of loss – adversity, if you slack off – your power to overcome is limited. Slack off what? THE WORD! The devil wants you to be always under adversity. Always fearing and fretting the loss which could possibly occur. God wants these times to be non-existent, He wants you to perpetually overcome! If actual adversity occurs then you can “consider”… but the 99% of adversity – is just the devil trying to devour you. Here’s how you do not slacken! Get your Mouth Moving! Speak God’s Word into your mind, heart and spirit. 99% of the threats of harm – do not occur! That’s just the devil trying to steal your peace! It’s time to mature in the LORD! Here’s what God says. Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep in complete peace, those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. That’s how you do not faint in the day of adversity (tightness, looming threat) you stay your mind, you fix your mind on Him, Jesus, THE WORD. This is how to thrive under adversity – it’s not toughness of body, but toughness of mouth that protects your mind. His Word in your mouth! Which directs your mind and fills your heart. Prov 15:15 – The days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. The devil wants to bring adversity – tightness – threat of harm, continually - to ruin you with fret, he wants you in a perpetual state of adversity – fully oppressed so your life is wretched. But the Word of God on your tongue is how you overcome. This is overcoming the adversity in your mind. This is the mind of Christ – and it translates to your face. A cheerful look, a cheerful heart. Adversity of threat is nullified by The Word of Life. It is hope, it is truth, so we are not ruined, but overcomers – in complete peace. God’s Word overcomes all adversity. He is with you. He promised. He has peace for you because He is your peace. All praise to God!
Praying for you – that you will not let adversity reign – ever. But you would dispatch it quickly because His WORD reigns in you by your mouth – so adversity melts in the blinding light of His promise. Praying that you would know in your mind, and in reality - the God who saves, the God who delivers you from all kinds of adversity – every threat of loss, and every loss itself. Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD and He answered me, He delivered me from “everything (the devil wanted to make me fear)” Praying that every weak attempt of your enemy to bring you adversity of mind... you would drive out with the mind of Christ.
So what adversity are you facing? It has no effect on you. Fix your mind on His truth with your mouth! Be overcomers!
Love you all,
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