Adversity exists as a great constant in life. While its form may change and though its impact may vary, always it remains, lurking in the shadows, ever ready to pounce and create misery at a moment’s notice. It challenges marriages as a couple is forced to confront differences and overcome selfishness. It challenges congregations, whether through doctrinal conflict or moral failures. It challenges individuals, introducing health problems, grief, financial issues, and personal conflict, all in an effort to create internal conflict, doubt, anger, and depression. Life does not always go your way. In fact, it rarely does completely. There is almost always some lingering issue that demands attention and distracts from the manifold blessings God bestows. This is the nature of this world. It is a world in conflict. It is a world of conflict. And we are living in it. Therefore, facing adversity, keeping adversity in perspective, and overcoming adversity are essential to success in life.
David knew adversity—even as a king. He knew the depths to which it can plunge a man, but he also understood that there is life and joy beyond the heartache and pain. While he wrote many psalms in the midst of adversity and while under great duress, in Psalm 62 we find the calm possible—even facing adversity—when trusting God determines behavior. Satan uses problems to attempt to move us from faith to doubt, from peace to agitation, and from trust to fear. He attempts a siege of the soul in order to force a surrender, but the key to survival is not giving in but in looking up (Psa. 62:1-2). We must develop our faith to remain centered and strong despite the problems we face, so that we never give in to Satan’s pressure but take a stand for God with the confidence that He will ultimately deliver from the trial. Standing firm in the face of adversity requires seeing the world and its answers as the spiritual attacks that they are. Thus, God’s people persevere, accepting the hardship rather than compromising the cause (Psa. 62:3-4). In David’s repetition we can hear the reply to his detractors and to Satan himself: “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved” (Psa. 62:5-6). We need not turn to worldly allies and answers; we have no need to consult worldly experts and opinions; for in God we have the only ally we need. The faith of the weak crumbles at the slightest foray made by worldly assertions, but the faithful know that God alone offers true strength, real refuge, and genuine hope (Psa. 62:7). Knowing this, we can face adversity with the calm assurance that God deserves our trust “at all times,” including throughout life’s challenges, and that when we pour our hearts out to Him in prayer, He not only listens but also provides a place of protection for our hearts (Psa. 62:8).
Men cannot provide the assurance that they often think. They trust in their power, in their wealth, and in themselves. These surely are unworthy of trust (Psa. 62:9-10). But God has the power to do all that He has promised. The divine word, once spoken, carries more weight than the greatest oratory man can offer, for God alone can deliver—without exception—on every promise made (Psa. 62:11). And one promise that is worth our consideration every time life presents us with a challenge is that our choices, our behavior, our trust, make a difference with God. He is a God of mercy and care, and the determination to do His will in the face of adversity will be rewarded (Psa. 62:12).