We all know both prosperity and adversity. It is the human condition! We are more likely to question God in times of adversity. Seldom, if ever, do we ask God why something good happens. It’s almost always when trials come. 18 prosperityActually, in 30+ years in Christian ministry, few and far between have been the times when people have asked why God allowed such and such prosperity to come their way. On the other hand, hundreds of times I’ve been asked why God would allow such and such adversity to strike. Solomon gives us perspective on the issue in Ecclesiastes 7:14. He writes, “In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.”

Job, of course, taught us the correct perspective also when he acknowledged in his time of trial that it is the Lord who gives and it is the Lord who takes away. When his wife suggested that he simply curse God and die, Job rebuked her asking if it’s right to accept good from God and not bad. Solomon tells us to rejoice in times of good fortune but not in times of adversity. We are to “consider” during times of adversity. What do we consider? God is sovereign over them both. Wiersbe says, “God balances our lives by giving us enough blessings to keep us happy and enough burdens to keep us humble. If all we had were blessings in our hands, we would fall right over, so the Lord balances the blessings in our hands with burdens on our backs. That helps to keep us steady, and as we yield to Him, He can even turn the burdens into blessings.”

We’re reminded in the Bible not to boast about tomorrow because we have no idea what tomorrow may bring. It is this reality that keeps us humble. Don’t forget that it’s the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom. The phrase in Ecclesiastes 7:14 tells us that God hides the future from us. We must learn to walk by faith not by sight. That’s exactly what 2 Corinthians 5:7 says. God revealed Himself to us in Christ. In Christ we see God’s love for us. In Christ we also see God’s promises for an eternal future, beyond our lives under the sun. We may not know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know who holds tomorrow. It is all a matter of faith. Am I going to trust God in the good times as well as the bad times? One writer put it this way, “We cannot have a meaningful relationship with Him if we are not willing to trust Him. That choice to trust is what the Bible calls faith. That faith is a lot like a muscle—it develops with use, and deteriorates without it.” Adversity is like weight lifting. It helps build a stronger faith.