5 Ways to Bamboozle Your Adversity
The original Star Wars trilogy mesmerized me as a kid; decades later I realize how they reflect life. The first was called A New Hope, followed by The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi.
The first episode culminates in a great victory. For us, when everything is going well, we proclaim that God is good and feel “new hope.” Then, inevitably, the “empire strikes back.” Life throws a curve ball that derails us.
The book of Acts also begins with a new hope: the commissioning of the apostles, the filling of the Holy Spirit, and thousands of new believers (Acts 1-2.)
Then the established authorities strike back: “They seized Peter and John and…put them in jail.” (Acts 4) This was the first strike in a counter attack featuring persecution, beatings, imprisonment, and culminating with the brutal execution of Stephen (Acts 7.)
Lesson; when life is rolling merrily along, don’t fall asleep at the wheel. Always anticipate adversity. In our Mustard Seed schools we teach kids to pray this when they wake up, “Lord, we don’t know what will happen today but we anticipate adversity. When it comes, strengthen and guide us” which raises two vital questions: “How will I respond?” and, “Can I harness adversity for gain rather than loss?”
From the church’s response (Acts 4:8-32) we learn:
1. “… filled with the Holy Spirit…” Instead of reacting with anger, jealousy, and fear, call on the Spirit and let your response be filled with the fruits of the Spirit.
2. “Jesus is …” Let your response glorify the name of Jesus.
3. “…the courage of Peter and John…” Shock the world with your unexpectedly courageous response.
4. “After they prayed...” Pray and expect the answer to your prayers to be earth shattering.
5. “All were one in heart and mind.” Have you ever noticed that adversity tends to get us looking for someone to blame? Yet for the early church, adversity was a unifying rather than dividing force.
I am reminded of what Joseph said to his brothers who had betrayed him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” (Genesis 50:20) This is what I mean by bamboozling adversity!
Mustard Seed’s theme is “Be Resilient.” Join us as we children, teachers, staff, and parents learn to bounce back when the empire strikes.
As for The Last Jedi, that’s anyone like the Apostle Paul who responds with faith in Christ to anything life throws at them.