Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand how to cooperate with the mission of adversity.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Cooperating with the Mission of Adversity
Jesus said, "In the world ye shall have tribulations: But be of good cheer; I have overcome the
world." John, Chapter 16, Verse 33
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we explore some techniques for cooperating with the
mission of adversity. In a previous broadcast, we acknowledged the fact of adversity in our lives as
well as the need for it. We recognized what adversity does for us as we grapple with it. But we seek
to find a much better way for adjusting ourselves to adversity. What should be our attitude once we
are caught in the net of adversity? Shall we behave like fish who are suddenly pulled from the sea
by the fisherman’’s net, flipping around in purposeless activity and then falling silent?
How shall we adjust to the depression that often follows us in the wake of sustained adverse events?
How do we make the physical adjustments when the adverse event involves our bodies? How shall
we deal with the sense of hopelessness that often occurs when we realize there is nothing that we can
do to change the situation? And how shall we deal with the anger that arises at the resentment of
having our lives disrupted? What shall we do when we are already on a troubled course, and the
course keeps getting more and more difficult? What can stabilize us at such a time? Where shall we
get the power to meet the challenges that adversity brings?
Let us begin with a story. Once a frog fell into a keg of milk and could not find any way to extract
itself. The only thing available to the frog for use was his powerful back legs, and so he began
kicking. He had no idea what the effect would be by doing this, but this was the only thing that he
knew to do. As he continued to kick his powerful, the milk began to offer resistance; it became
increasingly difficult for the frog to continue to kick, but he did. His legs became more powerful and
the milk begin to thicken. As he continued to kick, the milk began to change from liquid to solid.
When the milk turned solid, the frog found he was on solid foundation, and with one powerful kick
he jumped out of the keg.
Now we see that there are two general factors involved here. One is the changes that occurred in the
matter that was causing the difficulty. The other was the changes the frog experienced within itself
during the struggle. The milk changed from a liquid to a solid and the changes in the frog made it
possible to rise to the challenge and ultimately free himself from the difficulty.
In our struggles to gain a spiritual character, we must transcend our material natures. We cannot
ignore the material nature, but we can subject it to something higher--the Father’’s will. We can
change our reactions from selfishness to one of unselfishness. We can marshal the forces of the
material nature so that they are used for the good of others. But like the frog in the keg of milk, it is
not an easy task to leap from being self-centered to God-centered. The potential is there for doing
so but somehow it must be actualized. For actualization to take place, several key things are needed,
the first of which is the proper environment.
If we had our way, we would live in an easy environment and have an easy life. We could not use,
however, this type of environment to become more than we are. Instead we would resort to endless
self-gratification and the consequences thereof: self-destruction. Self-gratification cannot be a
stimulus for moving forward, for achieving growth. And everything in this life moves forward or
backward. Nothing stands still in this life. And this attempt to move forward, this process of being
driven forward, is what causes adverse emotional reactions, for our fleshly natures resent being
coerced into moving forward. "Loyalties are not exercised in behalf of the great, the good, the true,
and the noble without a struggle. Effort is attendant upon clarification of spiritual vision and
enhancement of cosmic insight. And the human intellect protests against being weaned from
subsisting upon the nonspiritual energies of temporal existence. The slothful animal mind rebels at
the effort required to wrestle with cosmic problem solving."
The heavenly Father has commanded us to become perfect even as He is. The heavenly Father being
spiritual, we must become spiritual if we are to become perfect even as the heavenly Father is
perfect, and this process of becoming spiritually perfect begins in this life. Our souls begins it
conception in our minds now. The soul must grow and develop, must unfold its potentials, and there
is only one way this can be done: by grappling with adversity. Adversity serves as the stimulus to
arouse the sleeping potentials of our souls. Although we may not fully appreciate being in this kind
of environment, being placed in an adverse environment symbolizes the Father’’s mercy. It provides
the stimuli needed for our souls to grow and develop, acquiring within our souls the Father’’s
beautiful, spiritual character traits.
Now this process of unfolding the spiritual potentials of the soul is similar to reproduction. To
reproduce a child, all that is required is for the male and the female to do what is natural to them.
Unless measures are made to prevent conception, conception will occur. There is a natural urge to
reproduce, though in this so-called sophisticated age where function and purpose are separated, it
may not appear to be so. But remember that regardless of the philosophy of the sexual function and
its purposed purpose, reproduction proceeds without regard to the philosophy of the sexual function.
In a similar way, there are spiritual urges within the human mind that long for expression, for
spiritual status; these urges will accomplish their purpose if self-will does not consciously resist
them. Growth is the result when in response to the urges coming from the spirit within are desired
by the moral will. This process takes place regardless of the emotional attitude or philosophy
concerning such spiritual growth.
The Father through his spirit collaborates with the moral mind in creating the soul. The Father lives
in the mind of his children and shares all of their vicissitudes with them. The Father loves his
children with an infinite affection and has nothing but abundant mercy and grace for them, even
forgiveness when necessary. It is the Father’’s spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and the Holy Spirit as well
as the spiritual helpers who guide us through this process of moving from animal to spirit. These
spiritual influences allow us to cooperate and maintain a positive attitude towards the mission of
adversity. When we realize that we are caught in a net of adversity, we should first take stock of the
situation. Those aspects of the adverse experience that are amenable to intellectual and physical
function should be subjected to the intellectual and physical forces in their solutions.
Sometimes when we are caught in the net of adversity, depression and anger surface. Depression is
the result of an exaggerated response to an event seen as hopeless. This sense of hopelessness causes
the shade of darkness to fall across the mind. It is an emotional reaction to an event that is perceived
as a loss. This response can also be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Anger is a
manifestation of resentment turned outward, while depression can be a manifestation of resentment
turned inward. Both depression and anger deplete us of necessary energies that are needed to make
optimal and effective responses to adversity. While we cannot by an act of force make these negative
emotions go away, we can call upon our spiritual nature to ameliorate them and ultimately to master
them. And we do this in this way.
We must remember that we are not alone in our struggles. The Father is with us. And we must
remember that he loves us, and that nothing can really harm us; nothing that has spiritual value is
ever lost. Our faith should insist on believing these truths regardless of what is going on. This
attitude of recognizing the Father’’s all-encompassing love will give us the power "to carry on and
endure as seeing Him who is invisible." We must always seek to know the Father’’s will when
confronted with difficulties beyond our powers to resolve. This will give us hope and assurance that
things are working together for our eternal good. It will provide us tranquility of spirit. Seeking to
know the Father’’s will in the face of adversity will align our efforts with the Father’’s power. As
we continue to seek his will in the face of adversity, the fullness of time will increasingly display the
harvest traits of spiritual character. We may go on suffering during the night of adversity, but we
know that the sunshine of victory will eventually crown our efforts. All we have to do is to exercise
faith in the process and in the assistance that is freely provided.
This concludes today's message on understanding how to cooperate with the mission of adversity.
We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.