We will have adversity
We will have adversity
We all know from experience about suffering. No one is exempt. Everybody suffers adversity in their life, some on a daily basis and some less frequently. Jesus when he lived on this earth suffered greatly. Jesus stated in John 16:33 that we would suffer tribulation as we live in this temporary environment.
Peter told us in 1 Peter 5:8 that we should be on the alert because our adversary the devil is seeking to destroy us. Satan whose name means adversary and adversary is a form of the word adversity. This gives us a clue as to the purpose and the intent of Satan.
We cannot talk about adversity without talking about God’s intention. What did God intent when He created this world?
When we go back to the beginning we see God’s intention. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God created man in his own image Genesis 1:27. Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
Now that raises a very good question. Did God create this world? The answer to that is yes and no. God did not create the world as we know it today. What God created was “very good”. Evil has not always existed in this world. When Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit evil came into the world in the form of sin, death, sickness, pain, and disharmony between people. The problem of evil and adversity has plagued mankind ever since.
In Genesis 3:14 the Lord told the serpent “because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals.”
In Genesis 3:16-17 God told the woman that He would greatly increase her pain in child birth and create disharmony between husband and wife and between all mankind. God told the man that he would have to work and toil so that they could eat. So the environment that we live in today is “cursed”. The world that God created enjoyed harmony, and joy but, death, hostility, and pain now fill the earth. The cause of the condition of our current world is answered by understanding the story of creation and the fall of mankind (the separation from God).
What was God intent?
God’s first gracious act toward mankind was creation. Mankind did not deserve to be created. Mankind has no inherent right to exist. God has no inner necessity for mankind. What I mean by that is God has no need for mankind He loves mankind. And we would do well to remember this during the times of adversity that we experience.
Creation was an act of unmerited love which arose freely out of God’s will. So because of God’s will mankind exist today. As we read in Revelation 4:11 God is worthy of our glory and honor, and we were created to glorify God. So mankind exists today by God’s will and mankind exists to glorify God.
God’s two major acts of redemption
To help us understand God’s gracious act of creation we must look at the two major acts of redemption we find in the Bible.
The nation of Israel
God created the nation of Israel. Why did God select and create the nation of Israel? What was God’s intention for creating the nation of Israel? Christ came through the nation of Israel. This was the first step in the redemption of mankind. The Israelites needed a God – someone to take care of them – fight their battles for them. In Deuteronomy 26:17-19 God wanted them to be His people and He wanted to be their God. Over and over again God states this in Deuteronomy and other Scriptures in the Bible. If the Israelites had obeyed God’s commandments they would have been a nation honored above all nations. The blessings they would have received would have been unimaginable. Likewise the curses they received were terrible for not trusting and obeying God.
God created the church. Why did God select or create the church? We find the answer to this in Romans 5:12-21 Christ and the sacrifice that He suffered on the cross has reversed the curse Adam and Eve brought on mankind. The fact is the full reversal has not yet arrived. We don’t yet have eternal life as Adam and Eve had by eating the tree of life. It will not be completed until Christ returns, Revelation 21:1-4; Revelation 22:1-6. It will be completed when we are able to partake of the tree of life once again.
In Revelation 21:3 we read that God will dwell with mankind and He will live with them and they will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God. In Revelation 22:2 we read that the tree of life will stand beside the river bearing 12 crops of fruit and yielding its fruit every month.
God wants a people for Himself and He wants to be their God. These two acts provide us with God’s original intent. God seeks to redeem what is fallen Romans 5:12-21. God still has the same motive and interest that moved Him to create the world in the first place. God decided to create just as He decided to redeem out of His love for mankind. God did not have to redeem mankind. It is an act of grace.
Who or what causes our adversity; the devil or the fact that we live in a fallen world?