The Real Benefit of Adversity

Even the Lion of Judah had been scarred for us.

By: Carol McClain      carol_mcclain

Life. There’s not one person in this world who gets out unscarred.

Nor is there one living thing–botanical or animal–that’s not been eaten, infected, or gnawed. Look at any tree or butterfly or human. We all bear scars.

1 Peter 4:12 tells us to not be dismayed by fiery trials. Everyone gets them.

This summer I faced plenty of issues–nothing of real consequence. My loved ones have been alive and healthy. My living is comfortable. Nevertheless, the misfortunes piled one on top of the other.

What went wrong?

  1. The pool motor broke.
  2. The pool ladder broke.
  3. The boat motor blew AFTER I paid a non-refundable year’s rent on the dock.
  4. The contractor hired to landscape our sloping lawn wouldn’t show up. Months dragged on. We finally fired him.
  5. After finishing heavy stonework ourselves, heavy rains washed away the entire patio.
  6. My agent let me go.
  7. My publishing company closed and no longer do I have books for sale.

I know more has happened that I no longer remember. To say I sailed through this like a seasoned Christian would be deceptive. I had my share of mourning. As I said in the last post, a season of mourning is necessary–read Ecclesiastes 7:2–by the sorrow of the countenance, the heart is made well.

Through it, God promises healing. Through it, God gives us character, and we become more like him.

Immediate/earthly benefits of my summer breakdowns:

  1. Friendships. My husband does not like to ask for help. We had to. People we knew superficially from church offered to
    help rebuild the retaining wall and patio. John’s expertise and the friendship of him and his wife have cemented our lives together in a bond stronger than any holding our retaining wall and patio together.
  2. A stronger marriage. Neil and I had to labor together to build drainage ditches and haul stone. We talked, worked, and rested together. It bonded us.
  3. Gave us a ministry. Friends offered us training and a small job to teach prisoners life skills. The total salary will pay for the new boat motor.

The above are great. They enriched our lives. However, we get something better from life’s adversity. Character. Strength. Compassion.

Philippians 4: 12-13 scratch the surface of what we learn. “12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (NIV).
Joy and peace and contentment have nothing to do with our circumstances. Living a godly life promises us to be able to live with joy no matter what.

How has God changed you through adversity?



  1. Carol McClain says:

    Thank you. As I step forward in this writing life, God’s confirming my direction.

  2. Absolutely wonderful post. I know it will bring hope to many. Thank you.

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