Adversity is the lot of every Christian! None will be exempt from the ongoing problem of adversity. We want to discover all that Paul discovered from his experience of adversity as found in II Cor. 12:1-9. (Note also chapter 11:23-28, and 4:7-11.) 1. Adversity is normal, even though allowed of God. 2. God may or may not show the reason for the adversity. 3. Adversity can be very painful, although allowed by God. 4. Adversity can be a gift from God. 5. Satan can be the agent by which the adversity comes. It may seem grievous. Some think the Christian life will be easy since God is in it. 6. God sends adversity to help, never to hinder us. God is doing good in our lives. 7. God never scolds for praying for release from adversity. 8. Paul learned God will comfort us in adversity -- He will give sufficient and timely comfort. 9. We are never alone in our adversity -- grace will overshadow us; God’s presence will be there. He will give a canopy of love and grace -- 12:9 10. While experiencing adversity we can experience God’ grace -- God is here now- in the present tense for us. 11. By grace we are enabled to endure victoriously. His power will be perfected in our weakness. This was Paul’s attitude and response. We must learn how to respond accordingly. 12. God may not see fit to remove the adversity. He is planning many good things for our growth and maturity. (James 1:1-3; Rom. 5:1-5) 13. God’s power within us reaches its peak at the time of our greatest adversity. His power is perfected in our weakness. 14. The spiritual blessings we receive in our adversity can over-shadow the pain we feel. 15. The right response in adversity develops our fellowship with God. We can move into bitterness or we can become better! We can build a closer walk or we can walk away. 16. If God does not see fit to remove the adversity He can enable us to live with it. 17. We not only can live with it, we can rejoice in it. 18. Our present adversity may be preparation for the future lighter or heavier adversity. God is preparing for our future and preparing us for those future plans. 19. The key to enduring adversity triumphantly is to see it from Christ’s point of view, and receive it for Christ’s sake. (See Heb. 5:5-9; Heb. 12:1-4) 20. Adversity equips us to understand others, and to comfort them in their adversity and pressures. We can have an ongoing ministry of encouragement to others. Note: We must be concerned that our adversity and difficulties are not the results of our own sins. Too often adversity is our experience because of our own sinful ways and failures. God does chasten us! • There is a big difference when adversity is sent from God for our good, ministered to us by a loving Holy Spirit. • God is endeavoring to equip us and to make us more Christ-like. (II Tim. 2:22) • He is more concerned about our character than our circumstances. • He is more concerned about our spiritual condition than He is our wallet.