Advancing Through Adversity

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

David Brownfield

I met David many years ago. Our relationship started in a professional counseling setting but quickly moved into mentorship. Today he is a devoted friend and co-worker in Christ. I hope that you enjoy his entry. -Dr. Stephen Phinney

This year has begun as a difficult, uphill battle that has been insurmountable for me at times but I am thankful for every moment of it. Here is why I say this, as the calendar turns as I write: 4-26-21 thru 5-28-21. I am understanding what this word means; {Insurmountable: def./ “too great to be overcome.” Oxford Language Dictionary}

January started me off with it’s first course of adversity that I did not know was on the menu. I was served a surprise accident, in a fall down my basement stairs resulting in a head wound and a concussion. February brought financial turmoil that seemed at the time, to be insurmountable. The third course of this wonderful feast was served cold, in March when my wife and family divorced me. April revealed that Squamous Cell skin cancer needed to be removed from my scalp. During all of this, my right hip joint has been giving me excruciating pain that I have had to endure and work through to continue my work and manage my lifestyle on my own.

Insurmountable = Too great to overcome. I told myself, “Don’t stop moving forward and don’t forget to breathe”. I have learned many things in these first months of 2021. Thank God for the learning, thank God for ministries like Charles Stanley. Stanley says, adversity is allowed by God, not to destroy us but to bring us closer to our Shepherd. Also, that there are three avenues that adversities are allowed into our lives and I see and believe these are true and very real. Each of these situations can be debilitating on its own but also, they can occur individually to us or any combination of these origins can come at the same time.

1) Adversity comes to us from God’s discipline or correction

2) Adversity comes to us through our enemy the devil

3) Adversity comes to us through our own sin consequence

Rev. Stanley explains that the Sovereignty of God is over all things. What I’ve learned through that single teaching, is that God Himself, is insurmountable. He is “too Great to be overcome”. This is why He wants us close to Him, to know Him as Father. He is our Protector, Councilor, Advocate, Redeemer, King, Healer, Savior, Deliverer and our ever-present help in times of trouble.

The Lord has shown in a powerful way, His undying love for me. He has also taught me through adversity to hate sin and hate the devil and his cohorts, including my own sin nature or worldly identity.

This mindset of advancing uphill, no matter the loss of what is precious to me, has eternal value because it is my Faith that has come to life and brought hope and stability to my identity in Christ. This is my root system. I have had to let some things go that I certainly did not want to go away. The Lord has pruned me back so I can bear fruit for His calling in my life. This doesn’t make life easier; it makes me completely dependent upon my God, who is insurmountable in His Lordship, unconditional love and tender mercies.