Finding Peace in Times of Adversity
by Todd Shupe
We learn at a young age that there are two things certain in life – death and taxes. I would add a third to that list: adversity. We all have experienced some form of adversity in our life from death of a family member, loss of a job, divorce, etc. My first real experience with adversity was when I was 9 years old and my sister died in a car crash. My Christian roots were shallow and so my coping skills ranged from very limited to non-existent.
Thirty-one years later my father died and I began to hear a calling which I discerned was from God. I attended the Walk to Emmaus after wandering this earth for 40 years. The Walk is a three-day spiritual retreat with talks by laity and clergy and lots of fun and fellowship. I left that weekend on fire for Christ and with a strong desire to learn more about God through the Bible, small groups, and being the hands and feet of Christ. I learned that Christ does not want His people to suffer. The Psalmist writes in 149:4, “For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; He adorns the humble with victory.” I am comforted that the creator of the universe takes pleasure in me and knows every detail about me but yet loves me anyway.
If you are dealing with adversity now, I encourage you to meditate on this scripture from Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and learn not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” We are made for community and this is never more true than during a time of adversity. Speak to your pastor, yoke up with a close friend, spend time alone with God, and cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Remember God’s strength often begins when our strength ends. Once we submit to God, His promises will come true in His perfect time. My favorite promise is found in Jeremiah 29:11 “For surely I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” May God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and give you peace.
About the Author:
Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science. Shupe worked as a professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.