“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).
“Victory rises out of death. Christ went down into the tomb, but three days later he came out! Christ so completely identified with us that he took us to the Cross with Him, buried us with Him, and resurrected us with Himself. ‘Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life’ (Rom. 6:4). Jesus did not come to ‘mend’ me. He came to ‘end’ me — the dominance of my sinful self.” — Roy Hession
“Cast your troubles where you have cast your sins.” — Charles Spurgeon
“The Cross is the resting place for sin, the tomb for self, and the throne for our fears.” — Harold St. John
One of the greatest sources of strength in adversity is knowing your position “in Christ.” All of mankind is represented by one of two heads: Adam or Christ. That means we are either linked to Adam, or we are united with Christ. The Bible says that “in Adam all die.” Here is biblical proof of our identification with our original parent Adam. Our existence is the consequence of his existence. Had he lost his life before he and Eve had children, we would not be here. The potential of our very “being” was dependent upon our first parents. So, we were literally “in Adam.” And when Adam sinned, we sinned because of our union with him. Adam died because of his transgression, and he passed on to all of his descendants a legacy of spiritual death (Rom. 5:12).
If you have been saved, you are in union with Christ — you are “in Christ.” When He died, you died (Rom. 6:6, 8). When He was buried, you were buried (Rom. 6:3). When he rose again, you rose again (Rom. 6:4–11). When He ascended, you ascended with Him (Eph. 2:6). Some refer to this as positional truth. And the truth is that all who are born of God are “made alive” in Christ. As Christians, Christ is in us and we are in Christ. In difficulty you must choose to concentrate on your position, not your condition. And this is not just Positional Truth — it is “Actual Truth!” Every demand made upon you is in fact a demand upon Him, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
All adversity brings pain, agony, discomfort, and suffering. There may be physical pain. I have a friend who has chronic headaches. Medical means have proven ineffective. He told me that his daily communion with the Lord is the only thing that has sustained him. Mental agony is often part of the package. We wonder why things have happened, and we attempt to figure it out. Sometimes there is a deep questioning of God’s love: “Why did God permit this? Am I being punished? I am trying to serve the Lord, but it’s one problem after the other. What did I do to deserve this?” This perplexity is often accompanied by paranoia, terror, fear, and sleepless nights. Adversity brings emotional pain as well. Our emotions get stirred up when we are wounded or hurt. The heart can be pained beyond description. When talking with saints who have suffered calamity, it is common to hear them speak about their desperate need to hear from God, but for a season Heaven is silent. The sense of aloneness can be baffling. Also, there is spiritual pain. We wonder where God is in all this! Sometimes all sense of His presence is removed. The word “instruction” in Proverbs carries the idea of rebuke and reproof. Many times correction brings pain.
The pain in adversity should drive us to His Word. There we discover our identity in Christ. Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians are rich in positional truth. Paul addressed the Colossians with these words: “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). You can find refuge “in Christ” in your time of adversity. Knowing your position will give you an understanding that will see you through your difficulties. Knowing that Christ is not only “with” you, but “in” you, is a huge comfort.
- Are you resting in the fact that you have died in Him and that you are raised with Him?
- Where is God in your present adversity, and why is this important for you?
- What does Christ being with and in you mean for you in your present adversity?
This chapter was written by Evangelist Harold Vaughan.
It is taken from the book “Extraordinary Strength in Adversity”