How to Deal With Adversity (Part Two)

You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8).

All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). So, how do you cope with and conquer such adversity and difficulty? How do you resist the temptation to retaliate? How do you live as a victor over—not a victim of—your circumstances?

James inspired counsel (vv. 7-11) for dealing with adversity begins with: Take a long look forward. (See last post)

Next, he commands: Fortify your heart (v. 8). Christianity is about spiritual victory over sin and Satan. Like any protracted war, it has many battles and adversity is an inherent component of combat.

Clearly, then, Christianity is not for the faint of heart or for the unfortified of heart. The word “establish” denotes the idea of “make stable or secure”.

Adversity is an indicator that Satan is making a concerted effort to exploit a weakness he has found or overwhelm an insecure place in your spiritual defenses. The solution to your situation is not surrendering to self-pity and suffering spiritual defeat; rather, it is reinforcing your heart with a stout dose of determination and tough-mindedness.

When the Christians in Palestine were facing such an onslaught from Satan in the first century, the divine exhortation was: “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:1-4).

Without Christ’s fortified heart, redemption at Calvary would never have occurred. Without your fortified heart, your eternal redemption by Christ will not occur. The crown of spiritual victory is only given to those who fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Adversity is an inherent part of spiritual combat. Therefore, fortifying your heart is a continuous essential.

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Author: jchowning

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