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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2749
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Adventure in Adversity

Was reading something from Norman Grubb today and thought I would share it here. On this Good Friday it is a very fitting reminder of God's desire to bring His redemptive power and blessings out of evil days. God did it 2000 years ago and is doing it today;

But the adventure of adversity goes deeper than this. When seen in its true perspective, it is found to be the doorway into God's most transcendent secret—that adversities and sufferings, which in their origin are the effects of sin and instruments of the devil, in the grasp of faith become redemptive. 'They are transfigured from the realm of merely something to be endured as an opposition of Satan, to something to be used to conquer their author and redeem his victims. Faith in time of adversity makes the serpent swallow itself! Once again the supreme proof of this is that when Satan made his fiercest attack in history on the person of Christ, God used that attack, through the faith and endurance of the Sufferer, to bring about the world's salvation. God uses evil to bring about good not causing it, but using it.

The consequence of a clear grasp of this fact, that Satan and all evil circumstances in our lives are God's most useful instruments for the fulfillment of His purposes, is obvious. All attacks of Satan are seen to be our blessings. We "count them all joy." We "rejoice in tribulation." We use them as special opportunities to see the manifestation of God's power, instead of merely enduring them with a struggle as "judgments" or "tests." This truth, indeed, transmutes into strength one of the weakest joints in the armor of God's people, a tendency to look upon trials and adversities merely as means by which God satisfies Himself as to our fidelity; instead of realizing that sufferings are the fulfillment of an inevitable law in the working out of God's purposes, and that the most highly honored and trusted of His servants are those who are counted worthy to "fill up that which is behind [lacking] of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake" (Col. 1:24).

The truth is that by no other way than by Christ's sufferings could a fallen world return to God. In the first Adam and his seed there was a dying to God and a rising to sin. In the last Adam and His seed there must be a dying to sin and a rising to God. Christ the captain of our salvation was made perfect as a Savior through sufferings. Faith transformed the contradiction of sinners into the means of their salvation. We follow in His steps, not to gain our salvation (which is His free gift), but by transmuting our trials into victories of faith we cooperate with the Great Victor in bringing His victory to a defeated and enslaved world.

-excerpted from Touching the Invisible by Norman Grubb

Ron Halverson

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