Friday, July 26, 2019

Graduating from the University of Adversity

Have you seen these?  They're everywhere on social media.  

There are tons and tons of joyous graduate photos being flaunted by anyone who happens to be graduating from pre-school through college.  They've all achieved a status of excellence and earned the right to be deemed as a "graduate" in some circle of life.

Proud parents, relatives and friends are cheering on their loved ones who are now “prepared” to take on life.  The best is coming and it's full steam ahead for bigger and better things.

Finally, all the hard work is completed and these young individuals are ready to be sent out into the world to experience the best life has to offer.  They will soon come to realize that the biggest challenges ahead of them won’t be what they have studied in the pages of their textbooks, but the everyday struggles that stem from living in a fallen world.

How do you explain that they have just received a diploma from the University of Adversity, when they haven’t taken one course from the institution?  You hand them another textbook …

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I remember the first time I was handed a diploma.  It was in the eighth grade and moving on with my friends, together we would “rule the school” … silly girl! 

Graduating from a class of around sixty, then entering into a 9th grade class with over 1,200 kids took me into a world I had never knew let alone experienced.  What was I thinking?

The thought of entering high school was exciting until I stepped into Math class.  Ugh!!!  Not the best subject for a dyslexic kid.  This happy teen that walked the halls as if she owned them, suddenly became as quiet as a mouse who wanted to hide behind the binding of an ever so large textbook.

Ask any dyslexic and their story will have pretty much the same dialog when it came to solving arithmetic problems.  We know it’s something that comes with learning, but would rather skip over those lessons if we could.  As everyone knows, that just won’t happen if we want to finally graduate one day. 

Then despite all the hard work, you sign up for college, grad school and more.  When will it all end?  Apparently, for some who keep going and going, never, but for others!  Whew - you reach your goal of becoming who you think you want to be ... you made it and all that's left is for your career to skyrocket.

How Did I Get to This Place?

Here it is ... many, many years have passed since that glorious day, and now you're in the middle of life.  Yes, but whose life is it, certainly not mine!  Chaos 101 wasn't in the curriculum and if it was who in their right mind would sign up for the class?

Those carefree times are somewhere sprinkled throughout the pages of our memories, and reality has tipped the scales with problems that never appeared in those old textbooks of ours.

Have you began to ask: "How did I get from there to here? How did I get from that "all-things-are-going-great" place to what's now going on in my life?  This wasn't in my studies or anywhere on the agenda."

Over and over we find ourselves in the midst of crisis after crisis.  What happened to sailing through life achieving dream upon dream and conquering all the issues that got in our way?  Life, that's what happened, simply life!  That's simply life friend, not simple life! 

What we learn as we march forth in years isn't something that could have been taught, but needed to be experienced.  Besides our own problems,  we witness what others are going through and it often makes us question where God is in all of this mess. 

Rarely do we realize that He's still with us, and didn't promise to remove all the rough waves in life.  What He did promise is that we wouldn't be alone and that He will see us to the other side whether that is here on earth or in Heaven, which is another thing we did not learn in the hallowed halls of school.

God What's Wrong with Me?

I know how you feel, I've been there. Many of you have lost your job, maybe even your home.  Some of you are going through a crisis in health, your marriage or even a failing business.  

Out of nowhere tragedy may have stricken you to the core causing decision making you never thought would ever cross your path in life ... but here you are in the midst of it.

How long was it before you started asking, 

"What am I supposed to learn from situations that turn my world upside down causing chaos in every area of life?  How do I survive this storm or those to come when fear surrounds me like a blanket leaving no comfort at all?  I'm holding on by a thread and feel like I'm about to go under?  

Oh, God ... what's wrong with me?  Why can't I get my act together and get through this?  What am I doing wrong that You can't help me?  How have I gotten so far off path that I no longer walk in your favor?"

Where Are You Focused?

I know it may sound crazy, but not all "chaotic" situations mean that you're out of God's Divine Will just because you are experiencing storms (chaos) in your life.  He isn't mad, nor has the Lord rejected you.  As a matter of fact, storms (or struggles) are the backbone to our growth and development into adulthood.  Often through the chaos we learn how strong we really are and how deep our faith in God is.

It is through the storms or tests of life that our faith grows the most and we discover how powerful God is to deliver us from evil.  Our true character is revealed in how we weather each phase of a storm and will determine the outcome at the other side of it.

Do you remember when the Disciples saw Jesus walking on water and what happened the instant Peter stepped out of the boat to join Him?  When Peter kept his eyes on Jesus he walked side-by-side with the Lord, but when he let fear grip him he began to sink. (Read Matthew 14 for the complete story.)

Peter looked at the circumstances and forgot Who was walking beside him.  Jesus was disappointed in how little faith His follower really had. It wasn't until he was tested that Peter realized his focus wasn't where it should have been.  His trust in God sank and he was about to do the same.

Jesus rescued Peter not because He catered to his fear, but so that His power could be revealed to the new believer.  When they reached the boat safely the entire crew witnessed the power of God and the possibilities available to them when they focused on Jesus and not the water. 

Let me ask you about your faith?  When crashing waves want to overtake or pull you under in defeat, what are you focusing on and where are your eyes looking?

It was in that situation that Peter received power from God to save and deliver him from certain demise.  Turn to Jesus during the crisis or storm and He will do the same for you.

"God is our refuge and strength (abundant, available help)
He is our ever present help in times of trouble."
(from Psalm 46:1) 

Giants Can Be Defeated

There is something else that I'd like to highlight here.  Did you realize that it is during those so called chaotic storms that your confidence to do greater things develops?  It's true, and I'll give an example to show you.

Do you think young David from the scriptures started out as a great giant slayer?  Of course not. It was only after defeating a lion (no tigers), and a bear that God sent Him to defeat Goliath.  

From there on David's journey was full of troubles, but they didn't stop him from becoming a King that conquered his enemies because God was with him through it all.  If there is a "giant" of any nature in your life, God knows it's there.  He has allowed it for your good - to show you the stuff you're made of is stronger, better, more powerful than anything the devil can throw your way.  

Those "giants" can be defeated; you just need to realize it by trusting the Lord for a good outcome.  When you do, each victory will lead to greater victories as you are transformed into the strong and confident person God designed.

Although you may have to go through more storms not seeing answers from God immediately, do not grow weary but persistently wait on Him.  Let your character and confidence build enduring to the end, and you will see the salvation from the Lord flood the situation.

Graduating from Adversity

Whatever you may be experiencing right now I'd like to encourage you not to give up no matter what's happening.  Graduation day is coming and this adversity will have to give way to the Voice of Truth - God's promises!

Struggles in life are real, and they can be overwhelming.  No matter the cause, God is there to help anyone through them if they believe He can and will.  

The Bible has given us so many examples of when a person's character was being tested by adversity and how they handled each situation. Some didn't do well and flunked the test over and over, while others who put their trust in the Lord graduated from the University of Adversity becoming scholars in their field and calling in life.

It wasn't until each individual was educated in handling adversity well that God allowed them to become great leaders in His Kingdom.  Right now you might be in the midst of that same test.  He is looking at whether or not you will graduate with flying colors by trusting Him to walk out this journey with you, or whether or not you will leave Him behind.

I'm in your corner and proud of how far you've come, but my friend until Jesus returns, the devil isn't going to stop trying to defeat what God has started in you.  Just remember Who gives the strength!

"I can do all things through MY GOD who gives me strength!" (Philippians 4:13)

Christ told us that there is no escaping times of adversity, chaos and storms throughout life.  However, if you trust in the Lord you will make it to the other side, but not until God makes you a champion of His grace through unmerited favor.

When you focus on Jesus during any level of difficulty, He sees that and will distribute grace and favor at the level in which you believe - so believe ... believe BIG!

Every struggle is an opportunity for you to see how big God is.  I like what John Hagee once said about handling difficult situations:  

"Every opportunity has difficulty and every difficulty has opportunity.  It's only when you come to grips with the difficulty that you will realize your potential."

If we can get a handle on this concept we'll stop seeing our adverse circumstances as problems, and start looking at them as opportunities to grow in faith and favor from God.

Adversity Shows Us God

Trust is a hard thing to give when it is broken. and why the Word of God tells us not to put our trust in the flesh or feelings that cause us to doubt our faith. (Philippians 3:3)

Somewhere down the road people will fail you even when they don't mean it.  Relationships sometimes fall apart, become distant or just disappear.  Trust is broken and hearts are as well; it happens because circumstances or adversity of some kind have entered the classroom of life leaving us unprepared.

Life will also go on despite the heartache, but sometimes because of it we view the next crisis differently and are able to cope better than we had in the past.  At times when you feared you'd never get through this horrific storm, God stepped in with answers to the situation not thought of, bringing you to the shores on the other side safely.

I know it's hard to stop and think in the middle of devastation, especially when the waves of the storm are crushing your hopes and dreams.  It's because in the middle of crisis and adversity that we don't stop to think, that our minds should already be focused on the One Who created the seas and waves - Jesus.  Through adversity we can see God and His powerful mighty acts are revealed to us when we call out to Him.

Where do you turn when adversity comes crashing down on your perfect plans creating havoc in your vision, dreams and desires? 

Where is there salvation from this crisis?  If we can learn a lesson from the "adversity storm", unlike the Apostle Peter (in that situation) don't give into fear, it's not from the Lord.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV) 

Instead take authority and turn to the One that at the sound of His voice the winds and waves obey instantly.  He is Jesus, the Savior, the Deliverer and Shield that gives favor in times of adversity even when the storm hasn't stilled.

"For You, O Lord, will bless the Righteous;
with favor You will surround him as with a shield." (Psalm 5:12 NKJV)

When adversity finds itself trying to rip through your life sails tearing them to bits, it's time to take out the only classroom textbook that gives the correct answers every time and in every situation - the Bible, God's Holy Word.

While in prayer and in study time (yes, we are to never stop learning), God will show you how strong you are to overcome anything.  By faith, trust Him to turn your sadness into gladness, because His favor on the Righteous is for this life and forever!  

Be assured - He is there and will see you through to graduation day!  

"His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night,
 but joy will come in the morning.  I will never stop believing!  

LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountains stand strong 
to overcome adversity in any circumstance.
even when I didn't think You were there - You were!

I cried out to you in prayer and you heard me.  
When I didn't think I would make it You showed me mercy 
and helped in ways I couldn't imagine.  

Trusting You has built my confidence and made me strong.  
I will sing praise, giving thanks to You, 
my Shield and Deliverer forever!" 
(A prayer from Psalm 30; emphasis mine.)

If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, let God's favor shield you! 

“I'll shield you with favor during times of adversity.”  
- Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy.  
Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Bible Gateway.

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Labels: Believer's Authority, Encouragement, Promises of God, Speak to the Storm, Christian Living, Victory, Daily Favor Blog, Favored1, Holy Spirit Wind, Adversity, Graduation, Power of God, Dyslexia, Fear, Salvation


  1. Fay, thank you for such an enlightening Blog today! I was especially touched by your thoughts on “adversity”. I agree that prayer & faith can overcome adversity - any adversity, as long as we put Jesus first in all we do. Talk about adversity - He knows all about it, doesn’t he, dearest?! I also love the scripture you chose for this week. Keep up the wonderful work you do in His sweet name!

  2. Thank you Margaret for your kind comments. I didn't start out with this subject, but due to some "adverse" things that came into our lives over the past few weeks God changed my thoughts during my research. Praying these scriptures is core to making to the other side of adversity. ❤️

  3. Can one really graduate from the university of adversity?just like you said adversity are in series, you graduate from one adversity, you advance into another adversity... The day we die is the day we actually graduated from adversity and we will rest from all our labours struggles and travails. Thanks for this blog, my second time of reading it and it really makes more sense and encourages me not to give up my faith in God but rather trust God totally no matter what I may see in my walk with God. Fresh revelations and inspirations from the most high God in Jesus name.

    1. As long as we are here adversity is a given. I pray that your relationship with the Lord deepens as you grow in the knowledge of Him. Thank you for your kind words and may God be given all the glory.


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