There is a day of adversity that comes to all, it is a tester of strength, or a revealer of weakness, and is given to us “that man should find nothing after him”. Let me explain.
The Christian is a sojourner, a foreigner, a stranger, to this world, and because this world is not meant to be his home, there will be adversity in it for him. He is opposed to this world and it is opposed to him, and with this opposition comes adversity. He is not alone in feeling the sting of adversity, for there are varying amounts of adversity reserved for everyone. The reaction to adversity is what is different and sets apart not only the Christian from the world, but also defines the strength of the Christian.
When adversity comes upon a wicked man, he is never willingly subject to it, but rails against it as though adversity were never meant to be for him (Psa 10:6). In his adversity, he is like a bell struck by a stick, ever sounding off about this thing that destroys his comfort. Because it is comfort, not Christ that they seek, it is far from the wicked to say with Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” He cries out in time of prosperity that he will never be in adversity, and does all that he can to prevent it, thereby becoming even friendlier with this present world. For this reason, the wicked find themselves with less adversity to this world, and more comfort from it, with few ever realizing that it was this very adversity they despised which was being used to cause them to look up to the God of heaven (Eccl 7:14). Most oppose their day of adversity with all their might, and though stayed for a moment, their ultimate day of adversity comes in the full after this world is over; it may tarry, but nevertheless the day of adversity does eventually come to each in all its fullness.
The Christian however, reacts differently in the day of adversity. Rather than ringing like a sounding bell, they are more like a burlap sack when struck with adversity, they yield to it, and make little sound about it, thereby revealing the strength of their union with Christ. They know that this world is not their home, and that they are ‘just a passing through’, therefore their sights are set on higher things than their own present personal comfort. It is this that allows them to say with Job when all comfort is removed, “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” Adversity is one of the instruments of God that He use for the building of faith and character. In some cases adversity is used to tear down a false faith, and in other cases it is used to build up faith on the foundation of Christ. In any case, the day of adversity in this world is temporary and has rest from it (Psa 94:13), for God mixes adversity with prosperity in just the right measure for our good.
The Lord has redeemed the soul of the Christian out of all adversity (2 Sam 4:9), the same of which cannot be said of the wicked, yet in this world there must come a faith-building adversity to the flesh for the good of all mankind. Some seek comfort in the world from it, and others are drawn to Christ by it. Who will you be in your day of adversity? The one who faints (Prov 24:10)? Or the one who considers (Eccl 7:14)?
Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.