No one knew it was coming, not even the Apostles, that Peter was going to betray Jesus. Of course, Jesus knew, but the feeling of betrayal still stung. The picture painted here in the New Testament makes many of us cringe at the ultimate rejection, and if anyone understood adversity, it was Jesus. Like 2,000 years ago, we still face adversity in all forms, like slander, gossip, hate, betrayal and rejection. Not that you are overly surprised, but just because you are a believer doesn't mean that your head is in the clouds, it sometimes really brutal. You know what is even worse than adversity? It's those stinging saccharine phrases like "If life hands you lemon make lemonade." The reality is we can't always make something beautiful out of something ugly, but like Jesus, we can stay the course and not wither way on the vine of life. The way we deal with its ugliness is to not run and hide. You can be unstoppable with God. And in times of challenges you can find hope. Jesus talked about resting during seasons of pain in Mathew. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." We will look at how to stand in adversity which includes rest, worship, and keeping the spiritual flames burning.
Start praising God.Praising God during a rough time will help you refocus on His power. This will also lift you in the process. This gets your mind off of you. When you are thinking about the problem and the hurt feelings, you are just feeding into the pain. Unplug this negativity, and just praise Him. You can't make people stop lying about you, or talking trash. But you can feed your spirit and allow God to minister as giving up is not the answer. Without hope you will perish. Find a Scripture that encourages you during this time. Write the Scripture to remind that you will overcome. Use this in conjunction with worship, by singing the Word of God with your own melody. Praise stops the enemy.
Stop taking control.
You can only control how you are. Don't try to pay people back for their lies or get on their level of ignorance. The best bet is to leave them behind along with their notions. You can control yourself and to never get in a situation where it impacts your happiness. Pray that God will give you the power and strength. Paul shared in Philippians how to remain steadfast in adversity. "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Choose to not let things or people get to you and keep moving.
You can only trust God.
God can work anything out for good. We need to trust Him to lead us and protect us in the valley and on the mountain. We need to remain steadfast, even when bad things happen. Sometimes it is our own fault that adversity happens, but we have a loving God and no matter what He loves us. The Scripture recorded in Romans encourages that God causes all things to work for the good and for His purpose. He also instructs us to not give in or give up in Galatians. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Keep a good attitude.
The pain of affliction stinks, but what is even worse is getting such a sour attitude that it steals your hope. Joyce Meyer wrote about becoming a prisoner of hope. If you are a prisoner of something you are stuck. In this case it is hope, and that is not a bad situation. Hope is saying "God I trust You to vindicate me and work this situation out. I thank you that there is a victory." Another essential part of keeping a good attitude is to believe that all things are possible with God. "God wants us to be locked up in hope, trusting that He can change what needs to be changed, that we can do what He wants us to do, and that all things are possible with God. If we will be steadfast in our hope, we can't lose, we have to be winners in life," Meyer shared.
Let it go.
This is going to sound pretty harsh. You need to stop being a victim. Jesus never played the victim role. So if that is you, stop. Blaming others and playing the victim will take power away. In order to pass this test that you are going through there needs to be enough juice. When we blame others or remain in self-pity for too long it takes energy away. Forgive them over and over if needed in order to attain peace.
However, I would like to believe that adversity doesn't happen, that it is only for "bad" people. Simply, that will never be the case. As long as we live here on earth there will be problems. When Peter betrayed the Lord three times and watched the arrest from the distance, the rejection was probably unbearable. If Jesus was dealing with it, what makes us any different? We will have to deal with things daily. Since we have little control over others, we can pay closer attention to ourselves. Let's look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Life still gets messy, but we can find something to cling onto--that is the power available to us through Christ Jesus.