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What Is Your Adversity Quotient ?

conquer2.jpg“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10.

Real life is cut from the fabric of adversity. Whether we yank on rusted bolts, cower in dentist’s chairs or reel from offensive insults, all of us who don’t get our way paid face the brunt of adversity on a daily basis. The difference between us lies in our reaction to it.

Some people seem to meet and beat all adversity. I’m not talking daredevils, fate-tempters or show-offs. People like these deserve every ounce of adversity they get. No, I’m referring to people who possess a buoyant, irrepressible spirit, people for whom adversity only regenerates their resolve. They are like the kid in the neighborhood who would never cry uncle, even though he got his arm broken…or like the bear raiding a beehive: the honey is sweeter than the stings are nasty. These are people who have discovered that whenever the goal means more than the pain of adversity, they win!

In his book Adversity Quotient@Work, Paul Stoltz points out that the best plan in the world won’t work if a person cannot take adversity. Regardless of how brilliant the plan, or how venerable the institution, or how legendary the player, adversity arises in the pathway. Any assumption that adversity runs away from us, scared to death, is folly. Inspiration will meet adversity. So will ingenuity, prosperity, success, favorable circumstances, organization and reputation.

So, how do we handle it? Stoltz says we are quitters, campers or climbers. Some of us fold the tent at the first sign of adversity and just quit. Others find out where their level of tolerance to normal adversity fluctuates and learn to live within that range. They are campers. The most successful among us, however, never discover anything that stops them. They keep climbing, battling against the most brutal opposition, until they plant their flag at the top.

Whenever you see spiritually successful people, don’t admire their brilliance or covet their favorable environment. Instead, examine their adversity quotient. No saint achieves a consistent prayer life without adversity standing in the way. No parent enjoys victory in their home without adversity. No godly man or woman lives an overcoming life without adversity challenging every moment. No flaming evangel witnesses for Christ without adversity showing up at every opportunity. None of these people have a superior strain of the Holy Ghost. They don’t have a better plan. They don’t command more angels as ministering spirits. They simply refuse to allow adversity to win.

The Apostolic church has the best plan in the world. We preach the life-transforming gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We teach the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We know that repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost constitutes full Bible salvation. We not only know these things theologically, we witness them experientially. Everything we need and want is in our relationship with God. If any of us have a problem, it is not in our plan, but in our diminished capacity for adversity.

Expect adversity. “Be sober…for your adversary, the Devil, walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Every trap, snare and stumbling block is before you. Sickness, tragedy, trouble, rejection, human failure, temptation and opposition of every brand, stripe and form will menace you. Many foes are real. Many are imaginary. Many are unrealized threats. All constitute adversity. Every great revival was spawned in adversity.

God may never take away the adversity, but he will do two things:

He will give you an increased capacity to absorb it! There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. I Corinthians 10:13. Paul said, “None of these things move me.” Acts 20:24 .

He will show you the way to victory over it! I John 4:4 says, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” By going on the offense, by committing yourself to spiritual disciplines, by looking to your goals rather than your goblins, you will destroy the material sources of your failures.

We cannot improve our plan. We can, and must, improve our adversity quotient!

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Reader Comments (1)

Adversity will do one of two things. It will seperate you from God or make you stronger in Him.
It will drive you from God in anger and bitternes or it will make you greatly stronger because you know He is your only hope.
My description of adversity is that it is the measure of your FQ (Failure Quotient).How many times you get knocked down,kicked, sat on, and still get up and keep on going.
It is a characteristic of every successful saint.It is also a key in the fight to be a faithful and true worshipper.Romans 8:37 Nay,in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loves us.Thanks for Isa.41:10-20.You were there at a special time,awesome.

May 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDan Stakley

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