I Peter (NKJV) 4:12-13 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
Quote: “Comforts and prosperity enrich our lives to an extent. But adversity enriches our lives forever” #James Baker #Leadership and Adversity #Battle Tested
The pattern of leadership can take you through the test of adversity.
I’ve experienced for myself and observed in scripture a Transformational pattern: The process of leadership can often take us through the test of adversity.
We see this principle not only in the story of David, who endured fifteen years of adversity before becoming King of Israel but also in the lives of many other leaders in both the Old and New Testament.
When David was a teenager, he was anointed as the next king of Israel.
It was then that he faced Goliath, was banished by Saul, hid in the desert, lived on the run, forced out of the nation, and fought many battles.
It was nearly 15 years between the time that he was anointed king and became king. He was tested, just like Joseph, so that God could convert him from a shepherd into a king.
The pattern of adversity is found all throughout the Bible, and I believe God still does it today.
When Joseph was a young man, he had a dream that his brothers would bow down to him. They hated him when he told them the dream.
He then had another dream showing not only his brothers bowing to him but also his father and mother. His brothers were so angry they wanted to kill him.
Instead, they threw him into a pit, sold him as a slave, he was then falsely accused of raping his master’s wife, and he was thrown in prison.
It was nearly 14 years between his dream and the time he left prison to become second in command of Egypt.
(Psalm 105:19) says, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character” (NLT). When God puts a dream in our hearts, we will undergo testing.
The greater the dream, the greater the test. God uses those tests to prove our character to make sure we don’t waste the dream.
The Lord knows we aren’t ready to handle the fulfillment, so the Lord tests us to help us become the person who will steward the dream well.
If God has given you a dream, be prepared to be tested and to wait for the fulfillment of it.
There is a king (or queen) inside of you waiting to come out, but it will take some perseverance to make that happen.
The prophet Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions before he could reach a place of power and influence in the Babylonian courts (Daniel 6:16-23).
And we see this same pattern played out in the lives of Moses, Isaiah, Ester, Amos, Hosea, and other Old Testament leaders.
Turning to the New Testament, we see that even Jesus had to face adversity in the desert, suffering hunger, thirst, temptation, and opposition from Satan.
Only then could He begin His public ministry (Luke 4:1-13).
The Lord’s disciples had to endure the loss of their Master, the failure of their own faith, character, and the dark days of despair between the cross and the empty tomb before they could become the founding leaders of the Lord’s church.
Point to ponder
We are not going to experience greatness in our lives in leadership without going through the process of pain and adversity.
Your personal constitution becomes the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, and emotions that affect our lives.
Handling adversity empowers individuals with timeless strength during Transformational change experiences.
- How do you handle adversity?
- Do you think it’s possible for adversity to work for your good?
- Are you dealing with adversity right now in your life?
- What lessons can you take away from today’s message?
- Is it possible that adversity is a schoolmaster for leadership development?
Pastor James Baker, Jr. and our leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of April 2020, by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Mrs. Angela Harrison, Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. David Straker, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Ms. Darlene Simmons, Ms. Mable Bazemore, Ms. Evelyn Rosado, Ms. Itholear Abbott, Mrs. Barbara Mason, Ms. Theresa Lewis, Ms. Ashley Baker, Ms. Rebecca Hogue, and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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Pastor James Baker Jr.