One of the benefits of adversity is that it challenges our pride. Paul experienced this kind of intervention through what he called “a thorn in the flesh,” and the Lord used it to hone his effectiveness as a servant of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:7).
We don’t usually realize what’s at stake when we allow pride to take root in our life, but it affects how God interacts with us, as He “is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Pride will prevent Christians from reaching the potential of what God wants to do in and through them. Even if the world sees them as a success, a self-motivated and self-empowered ministry lacks value in the Lord’s eyes.
Can you see how much was at stake for Paul—and for believers throughout history? God used the apostle to build up churches and write letters that would become a major portion of our New Testament. When he understood the reason for his “thorn,” Paul reacted with trust and gratitude for the Lord’s wise and loving protection.
Perhaps you can see why adversity may be beneficial for you, too. Each of us has been given areas of influence. Humble yourself today so God can use you greatly.
Bible in One Year: Psalm 107-111