Adversity Makes you Bitter or Better
David makes some truly amazing statements in Psalms which allows us to look into his heart and learn why he was so special to God. How do we become what he was since God has such high regard for him even from his youth? His words express the kind of heart he had. If we spend time making his words our words we will be changed. Perhaps we, too, can be described as a “man after God’s own heart.”
Both first and second Samuel tell us about the life of David and all the trials he faced. They began shortly after he killed Goliath when jealous King Saul sought to take his life. He gained the favor of the people around him, and the evil king sent his army to kill David. He almost did not become king as that army was almost successful in taking the life of the young “giant killer.” His friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathan, often enabled him to escape. Years later, David again had immeasurable adversity when his own son led a rebellion against him.
So, how did he view such trials? Read his words, and they may change how you look at life. David said, “It is good that I was afflicted.” Our first reaction is that such could not be right! How on earth could any suffering be seen as good? Read the rest of the verse. David said, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). David understood a lesson which each of us should learn early in our life. If our life has little misery and adversity, we tend to ignore God for we have little need of Him. On the other hand, adversity provides us the opportunity to come closer to God. How we respond to such trials shows the kind of heart we have. It is so important to learn that adversity makes us bitter or better.
The apostle Paul understood this same truth. In his second letter to Corinth, he gave a list of many of the trials he had endured, then he said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). Read the verse again—infirmities, reproaches, needs, persecutions, distresses. Pleasure in all of this? How strange! But, what insight David and Paul had into how to deal with all that life brings.
How do you decide what things are good and what things are bad in your life? Here is a rule which might change your whole view of life. Anything which draws me closer to God is good, and anything which keeps me from God is evil.
So, let me ask you, any good thing happening in your life right now? Think about it.