The audacity of adversity

FRANKLIN LIVING—It’s counter-intuitive to think about how adversity actually improves our lives, but it’s true.

No one wants to struggle through a tough time, but all of us have seen the positive result in the lives of others. We’ve seen the muscles a friend has built over time by hard work. We’ve noticed the loving way a nurse treats her patients as she cares for their needs. We are all impressed by the patience an elementary school teacher has with our kids! None of those positive traits came about through a life of ease or free of adversity.

We’re afraid of adversity because of the unknown. It’s difficult for us to think about how trouble can be positive or to consider how God might be doing something great in our lives through the adversity – but that’s exactly what we should be doing!

We should be training our minds to expect the positive results of having dealt with or gone through a trial. This is what I call “the audacity of adversity.” It’s a result of walking by faith, not by sight! When we trust that any adversity will make us stronger, we overcome the fear of the unknown – and we should have that trust because we see evidence of the reality all around us.

Adversities make us stronger, and that’s not something to fear, it’s something to be embraced!

One of the greatest pitchers in baseball history knew the secret to overcoming adversities. His name was Leroy “Satchel” Paige. Among his famous quotes you’ll find, “Love like you’ve never been hurt.” Satchel Paige played in exhibition games with white players ten years before Jackie Robinson became the first black Major League player. Satchel helped to integrate the sport and pave the way for a whole new outlook on race relations and community for our nation. This great pitcher wowed crowds with his abilities and stood strong in the face of racism and hatred.

He was asked how he was able to perform at such a high level in the presence of such resistance and violence. His answer: “You gotta love like you’ve never been hurt.” His faith that things were getting better through the adversity kept him from giving up.

So, what about you? The results of adversity prove to be strength, hope, love, patience and many other positive traits we’d all do well to acquire. Our families, churches and communities will look and feel better if we embrace adversity and keep our faith in a better future!


Trae Durden has been the preaching minister at North Highlands church of Christ in Russellville since January 2013. He is married to Leann Durden, and they have a daughter, Darcy Grace (15), and a son, Dalton (12).

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