This weekend's sermon was on Overcoming Adversity at CCV. The question "Why do bad things happen to good people?" is one I encounter when talking about the Christian faith with non-believers so I was interested to hear more.
There are five basic reasons for adversity: 1) Our sin and bad choices, 2)Someone else's sin, 3) Victims of laws of nature, 4) Random tragedy, 5) We are followers of Christ.
And then Pastor Don said that "Adversity is God's way of getting man's attention." And then, "Adversity is the training ground for spiritual responsibility." This to me was one of the most encouraging nuggets that I got last night. I wonder what God is preparing me for. I like to think that the trials I go through with the girls, and with Erik, and with friends, are pepping me for some higher purpose. At least it helps get me through the tough times.
Adversity can be used by God, if we let it, to make us into the men/women He wants us to be. The Bible uses the comparison of refining gold for spiritual refinement.
Did you realize that refining gold, is a lengthy and intense process? In the 1st century several steps had to be repeated until the gold reflected the face of the goldsmith, that's how he knew the gold was fully purified. Isn't that interesting? The goldsmith was looking for his reflection, and that's how he knew the gold was perfected.
I understand this to mean that adversity is the process we have to go through in order to perfectly reflect God's face.