How to face adversity?

A man praying to help him cope with adversity.
Have you ever wished, “If only things could always go smoothly, reasonably, without too much difficulty”? “If only we were never brought face to face with adversity?"

But since such is not to be, at least not in this present system of things, why not look at it another way, that you can learn valuable lessons from your meeting up with adversity, if you are willing to meet its challenge instead of rebelling or running away?

For one thing, adversity helps us to become better acquainted with ourselves, with our strong points and our weak points.

In the springtime a young man may pledge constant love, but, as the popular song has it, ‘Will he love her in December as he did in May,’ when the winds of adversity blow?

Failure to meet the challenge of adversity shows itself in more ways than one. Some literally quit, run away.

Others seek some escape, such as bitterness and resentment or self-pity and discouragement. What then can help you cope with adversity?

Aids to overcoming adversity


If you would meet the challenge of adversity you must train for it; you must practice self-discipline.

For example, to the extent that you are moderate in your spending habits, exercising self-control, to that extent you will find it much easier to get along with less.

And most likely you will have something saved to fall back on, should adversity suddenly strike in the form of an economic depression that could throw you out of employment.

The same principle also applies to your physical health.

Disciplining yourself by taking a little bodily exercise, by moderation in food and drink will enable you to meet adversity better when it strikes in the form of an accident or a serious illness.

Or adversity may strike in the form of an emotional crisis.

If you have been working at disciplining yourself, controlling your temper in little things, you will likely meet well the challenge of adversity in the form of a serious reproof by someone in authority.

You will appreciate that you are prone to err, that the things you would not do you often do and the things you would like to do you often do not.

More than that, the reproof administered to you most likely will be less severe by reason of your practicing self- discipline.

It might therefore be said that, to the extent that we are concerned with doing what is right instead of following the lines of least resistance, we will be better able to adjust to circumstances over which we have no control, to meet the challenge of adversity.

Another great aid in meeting the challenge of adversity is hope. Remember, as a common saying goes, “This too will pass.” 

Yes, when in the midst of adversity, we may feel that it will always be this way, we will never get well, we will never find employment, we will never be restored to favor, and so forth.

But not so. More likely than not, time will solve these problems.

Another great aid in meeting the challenge of adversity is love.

Most likely, many of the thousands of husbands and fathers that have deserted their wives and children have really been put to the test because of adversity.

Adversity in the form of shrewish wives, sickness in the family, unemployment and what not, and so rationalized their walking out from under their obligations.

But love would have helped them to meet the challenge of adversity, to make the best of the situation.

And thereby they could have hung on to their self-respect, for a man’s need to shoulder responsibility is as real as is family’s need for security.

Still another great aid in meeting the challenge of adversity is humility, submissiveness.

It will enable you to absorb the blow instead of going to pieces under it.

Humility will help us to meet the challenge of adversity by picking up the broken pieces, as it were, and starting over again.

And, among other things, seeing how others meet the challenge of adversity can help you to do the same.

Yes, it is in your interest to meet the challenge of adversity. Do so by training for it, and by letting hope, love, humility and the example of others aid you.

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