Through adversity, God is able to accomplish so much in our lives, if we will only trust Him and seek His purposes. Dr. Stanley describes the qualities God is building in us through adversity: unshakable faith, unwearied patience, increased courage, and purity. For more messages from Charles Stanley, including this week’s broadcast, go to

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in touch the Teaching Ministry of Dr

Charles Stanley reaching the world with

the Gospel of Jesus Christ next on in

touch in the midst of adversity

adversity is not really a choice

if it were we don’t say no thank you

we just take it some other ways not a

choice but

it is a reality because we live in a

fallen world

and because there is sin and

Disobedience and wickedness wherever you

turn there’s going to be adversity

and we all are going to experience it at

one time on the other model in our life

and sometimes it’s many times and once

in a while I’ll meet somebody who says

you know what my life has just been one

long trail of adversity

well this is the third message in this

series and so I want to clarify what we

mean by adversity

it is a condition of suffering and

hardship involving anguish

pressure trials heartaches

disappointments and of course many other

aspects of life that cause us discomfort

in some way

so we’ve all been there we’ve all

experienced adversity in one way or the

other and we would all like to avoid it

if at all possible but it’s not possible

to avoid it because we said we live in a

fallen world

now if you avoid all

all possibilities of adversity you may

miss some of the best things in life

you say well now how can adversity which

causes me pain hardship heartache

anguish and all that suffering how can

that bring me something good well I want

you to think about some people in the

scripture for example who went through


but on the other side of that experience

how God worked in their life he still

works that way that is God has never

changed the way he operates

he knows what he wants to accomplish in

our lives and he knows exactly what

it’ll take

he does he never condones sin and

disobedience in Rebellion

but in spite of the fact that he doesn’t

condone it if we respond correctly he

will use it for our good so let’s just

think about some people in the scripture

who went through some terrible adversity

but look what God did look at Joseph for


look at all the Betrayal the the

hardship the heartache the punishment he

suffered but look how he ended up second

to Pharaoh in Egypt would he say to us

afterwards he was worth every bit of it

yes he would no question about it think

about Moses for example all the hardship

he went through but look what happened

in his life would he say it was worth it

all yes he would think about David for

example how many years he ran from King

Saul and yet he ended up being the king

the most notable King The King when you

think about the kings of the Old

Testament David Above All the Rest

stands High

then when you think about women for

example what about Esther

difficult times

tragic times and yet God used her to

save the Hebrew people

and then of course if you were to ask

Daniel Daniel all the things you’ve been

through you’ve taken away from your

Homeland and brought over here to

Babylon would you go through this again

and I’m sure he would say yes because

look at where he ended up he ended up

beside the king that is God used him in

the most awesome ways we’re still

talking about him and so all adversity

doesn’t end up with suffering and

hardship and pain and I think about the

disciples for example all that they went

through but look what we do we talk


not just Peter James and John John but

Thomas and all the rest of them and

would they say it was worth

going through those times with Jesus

after it was all over with yes they


well what about Mary and Martha for

example to bring it down to one simple

family and they’d been friends of Jesus

for a long time and then at the most

critical moment of their relationship

Jesus does not show up and then when

they say it was worth it all when when

Lazarus came walking out of the Tomb yes

so we would have to say that all

adversity is not bad it depends upon how

we respond to it

so whatever you’re going through today

wherever you are in some realm of

adversity in your family among your

children financially at your job

whatever it might be whatever it may be

it could be that it is a part of one of

God’s greatest blessings in your life

so it depends upon how we respond to it

and uh in that way that’s going to

determine it so I want you to turn to

Second Corinthians chapter I want to

keep turning to in the 12th chapter

because it’s such a perfect example of

the Apostle Paul of all the wonderful

things that he did and you think about

all the adversities he went through

which he lists them in chapter 11. and

in spite of his prayers and asking God

to take away all of this listen what he

says about himself in verse 7 of chapter

12. because of the surpassing greatness

of the revelations for this reason to

keep me from exalting myself that is the

awesome things he went through to keep

him from exalting himself

there was given to me a thorn in the

flesh whatever it may have been a

messenger of Satan

to torment me

not make me feel bad torment me

to Keep Me From exalting Myself

concerning this I implored I didn’t just

talk to the Lord I implored the Lord

three times that it might leave me and

he said to me my grace is sufficient for

you for power is perfected and weakness

it’s easier to read that than to live by

it amen he says he says this grace of


is sufficient for me for power is

perfected in weakness most gladly

therefore I will rather boast about my

weaknesses so that the power of Christ

May dwell in me therefore I am well

content with weaknesses with insults

distresses persecutions prisons and so


with difficulties of Christ’s sake well

here’s he says what I’ve discovered when

I am weak then am I strong

so what I want us to think about we

respond to adversely in two ways

one way is the fact that um

some people just

even though we’re talking about

Believers now some people when they go

through adversity their response is just

walk away from God I’ve trusted him as

my savior I believed him I’ve read the

Bible I’ve prayed I’ve done all these

things but I want you to look what’s

happened to me so their choice is to

walk away and what they begin to think

is they begin to doubt the reality of

God if God is really who he says he is

what the Bible says is he would he

wouldn’t dare let this happen so they’ll

walk away

they doubt him

a second response they have is they want

to blame God for not preventing it from

happening in other words if if God

really loved me he would not allow this

to happen to my family to my finances to

my job to my future tomorrow reputation

whatever it might be if he’s really who

he says is he wouldn’t let it happen so

it’s God’s fault

and sometimes when a person can’t blame

their husband or wife or blame someone

else they want to blame God

and so they want to walk away because if

God was who he says is that he wouldn’t

allow this and and so they want to point

that finger at God

then some people just turn their back on

God permanently and I’ve met a few

people over the years things have

happened in their life and I remember

one young man he had a beautiful family

and his his son young young lad he must

have been about only about seven years

of age was the joy of his life

and he died suddenly

in spite of all of our prayers all about

talking about how God good had been good

to him how God had given him a great

family he had plenty of everything he

never could accept the fact that God

took his son he grew very very bitter

about it

and so no matter what happened

he blamed God

and he walked away from church first of

all then he walked away from his family

and I never heard from him again and he

was in church every Sunday and sitting

down in sitting down in a center section

where I knew him he was a fine man

but that was an adversity in his life he

just could not accept

some people’s responses they say you

know what don’t give me that Bible

business anymore because here’s the

promises in the Bible they’ll that God

does not fulfill his promises and so

they just want to close the book

well do you believe the word of God I

used to do you believe the word of God

it’s not always true in other words

people close the Bible

they just say you know what and that’s

not who that’s what it says but that’s

not what happens because their

expectations versus their partial

knowledge of how God operates causes

them to close the word of God then of


here’s what happens when people get

disappointed and God doesn’t match up to

their expectation what they do is they

begin to nurture their hurt and their

anger and their hurt grows deeper and

deeper and their anger gets stronger and

stronger until they not only are they

miserable they make the people they live

with miserable the people they work with

miserable in fact you don’t even want to

see them coming

because their attitude has grown to such

rejection of things that a Godly and

righteous and they’re blaming God and

they’re blaming the Bible the Bible is

not true and God has allowed this hurt

in my life

and so what happens sometimes that

person that they don’t get over it they

live with a bit of spirit

how many of you have ever met somebody

who is bitter

yes you know why because they can’t hide

it you can’t hide bitterness you may

hide some hurt in your life or things

that have gone on in your life but

bitterness is like poisoning the

bloodstream in your body

it affects every single thing about you

it affects your ability to smile it

affects your ability to love to accept

it affects every aspect of your life

bitterness because of some adversity

that happened to you in life and you

grow bitter

and it probably is the reason for a lot

of divorces

a person gets so bitter the other person

says I can’t live with this any longer

I’m not justifying it I’m just saying

that’s oftentimes what happens

and then the worst thing is that people

who grow bitter like this let adversity

get the best of them they waste their

life they walk away from God to close

the word of God they’re not interested

in this and that and the other and

whatever God may have planned for them

watch this whatever God may have planned

for them

in that in that good awesome plan was

this act of adversity that God allowed

to either Purge something out of them

that shouldn’t have been there

grow them up but two of them teach them

something instead of responding

correctly they decide no then they walk

away and they’re and they absolutely

waste their life

adversity is not always bad

and adversity is a tool that God uses so

we have two major responses one of them

is to walk away from God and the second

response is this in the midst of that


people oftentimes grow into a deeper

relationship with God so all of us fall

into one of these two categories and

this first category is walking away from

God or secondly we walk into a deeper

relationship with God and what happens

well here’s what happens we develop

unshakable faith

because in that adversity God proves

himself to us over and over and over

again that he’s still there he’s still

trustworthy we can believe that he’ll

keep his promises and what happens is

the adversity tests our faith and so

people who decided in spite of what I’m

going through I’m going to trust God I’m

going to persevere I’m going to keep

moving no matter what and so when we

allow adversity to drive us into a

relationship with God a deeper

relationship that’s one thing the second

thing is this

it enables us to have unwarried patience

that is we don’t we don’t get impatient

there was if I know that this is of God

and I’m trusting him

he will give us the patience to endure

whatever we’re facing

and I think probably one of the greatest

tests about trusting God and that

patience is the fact

that no matter what’s going on and how

painful it may be and how we’d like to

separate it and get get rid of it we

patiently wait for God to change it and

we know in our hearts that he is never

going to string us out beyond what he


that we’ll have the patience provided by

him to see us through it no matter what

and that’s a very very important point


patience is not easy

it wasn’t easy of the Apostle Paul he

said three times he prayed and that

doesn’t mean he just got on his knees

and prayed three short prayers but these

no doubt were long prolonged periods of

agonizing before God a third thing that

happens is this

we’re walking into a deeper relationship

with God something happens to our


we begin to have unwavering courage

because we know what in the past when

we’ve been in difficult situations God

gave us the courage to hang in there no

matter how difficult it was how

threatening our loss or whatever it

might be and so what happens it builds

courage it builds faith it builds

patience in our life

if we didn’t have any adversity we

wouldn’t know what we could do it’s

adversity that builds courage I’m going

to trust him I’m going to wait for him

I’m going to believe him and I’m

claiming the victory no matter what I

may be hurting at the moment

I may not like what’s going on

but I know in my heart that God’s not

going to let me down

and one of my favorite verses you’ve

heard me say it many times in Joshua 1 9

be strong and of a good what

that’s right fear not because God’s

going to be with us in the midst of

everything fear not be strong and of a

good courage for the Lord your God is

with you wherever he lead you it’s not

on the word of God and the promises of

God it is the it is proof of the

promises of God here’s what he’s done in

your life

so we said you have two choices now you

can walk away from God or you can walk

into a deeper relationship with God

which is going to affect your patience

your faith and your courage and of


it always makes us purer in heart

that is something happens to our

relationship to the Lord

and Holiness becomes more than a word

and if I ask you do you live a holy life

a lot of people wouldn’t even know what

we mean by holy life a holy life does

not mean a perfect life because nobody

can live a perfect life because we still

have that old tendency of sinfulness in

our lives that’ll be there until Jesus

calls us home we can live an obedient

life which means that most of the time

and when I say most of the time I mean

most and most and most of the time we do

the right thing and if somebody asks you

are you living a holy life more than

likely I’m not saying it’s true of you

Saints right here but more than likely

you would say well I’m not I don’t say

that I’m holy

well why not

listen God has forgiven you of your sin

the spirit of God is living within you

your name is written in the Lamb’s Book

of Life he is your savior your lord your

master your helper your encourager why

can’t you live a holy life it doesn’t

mean sinless

but it means one who is given to him

totally and completely as best you know

how with all of your heart

you have no desire to sin against God

and so God uses adversity and hardship

and pain in our lives to get us to

thinking right

I’m a Child of God I’m to live a Godly

life in other words living a Godly life

listen that’s the natural way

for a Believer to live

and so if I’m going to live a Godly life

I have to give up sin

and somebody says well how long can you

live without sin you don’t know the

answer to that say Amen

you don’t want to know

how long did if you want to know the

answer to this how long can I live

without sin Say Amen

as long as you choose to

as long as you choose to

you don’t have to sin

well you don’t well you say well

but you know I saw something that made

me lustful don’t look

if you think that’s going to make don’t

don’t look

if you see something that you think that

you could pick that up and nobody ever

see it walk away

now it’s watch this sin is a choice

it’s a bad choice

it’s a choice that separates us in our

fellowship from God and in his work and

will and purpose and plan for our life

he has the best for us

and adversity is God’s one of God’s ways

of doing what molding us into his own


Holiness righteousness that’s a part of

living the Christian Life

when I have the right response I’m going

to get in the word of God

when adversity comes the first thing I’m

going to do is open this book and say

what Lord what are you trying to say to

me and one of the things I love my my

personal devotional book is the living

Bible translation

because it’s simple to understand and

for me personally

I jot down on the edge of my Bible

things I think the Lord has said and

sometimes when I need a certain word of

encouragement I know exactly where to


and sometimes I’ll look at a verse that

I have six dates down by that means I

needed this five six times before and so

there’s something about

living with the word of God I don’t know

what you call Precious in your


but I can tell you that’s the most

precious thing you own

it’s the only guide book there is to get

you to heaven here’s the voice of God in

in human Brent this is the way to live

this is the way to look every single

adversity in the face and say yes

because I’m going to do it God’s way I’m

going to follow him and whatever he

wants to do in my life the answer is yes

God I want you to have your way because

whatever your goal is for my life that’s

my goal if it takes pain suffering and

heartache whatever it might be according

to your word here’s what you said and

that’s what I’m going with

now listen we’re going to face adversity

there’s there’s nobody who is beyond it

so knowing that it’s going to happen

just make a wise choice today


I want you to turn the adversities that

you allowed in my life to making me a

real saint

I want to be a Godly person I want to be

somebody that you can use I want to be


it looks a little bit like your son


who acts like him who responds like he


I want to make the right

decision about adversity

you made Paul an awesome Saint and who’s

blessed us for these thousands of years

and God I want you to make me that kind

of saint

not that I would write as he wrote but I

would just be

the kind of child of God

that would attract other people to the

Lord Jesus Christ who is my savior in my


well you have a choice

some of you are suffering adversity

unlike anything probably I would even

know about

but I can tell you this God knows where

you are

he’s there with you in that adversity he

will do exactly what he promised to do

he will help you keep you give you the

patience give you the faith give you the

courage give you the love for him that

will able you to endure it until he’s

finished with that in order to make you

the kind of person he wants you to be

here’s the choice

my choice

is to yield to that adversity

knowing that he’s got something good in


or I can turn away from him and waste my

life and that’s not what you want

you see we only have two choices in life

we can either

live our life the way we want to live it

and just refuse to give God a chance

we can acknowledge the fact that we’ve

sinned against God

and that and this God in whom we believe

and trust the god of the Bible

he sent his son Jesus to the Cross to

die on the cross for our sins and

explain that this way the shedding of

Jesus Blood on the cross paid our sin

dead in full and the moment you ask him

to forgive you of your sin and you don’t

make any promises I’m going to be a

perfect person no you’re not

he’s asking you to surrender your life

to him

accept the death of his son as payment

for your sin

become one of his children

and as you have had to grow up your

children he’ll grow you up

and when you allow him to grow you up

with the adverse it is the difficult is

the hardship the pain the all of the


he’ll make you a trophy

you’ll be like a jewel to almighty God

that is you will shine forth as a saint

not perfect but as a saint not sinless

but holy

he will bless you in ways that you could

never imagine

that’s who he is that’s the kind of God

we have

and I trust that if you’ve never trusted


that you will right now or you are

and father

how precious you are

to be so patient with us

to not only forgive us of our sins but

to cleanse us sanctify us make us holy

may we look at adversity both ways

as challenges

to who we are and what we are becoming


and as

a pathway

to become the person you want us to be

I pray that every person who hears this

message will look at themselves


look at the things that are troubling


acknowledge that you are the one true


and that you will join them in their


to help them through it

no matter what


thank you for being that kind of a

loving father

is our prayer in Jesus name amen