Links Daily Devotional

Adversity for a Greater Good

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NASB)

Tom Watson was the leader through three rounds in the 1974 US Open. A final round 79 left him wondering about his potential as a professional golfer. Looking back years later on this catastrophe in the last round, he has said that this became the turning point for good in his career. It shaped his future.

I have never prayed for adversity, but I have also come to know by experience that it is a better teacher than prosperity. Erma Bombeck once said, “In every life there will mountaintop experiences and valley experiences. I am convinced that we learn more in the valleys because that is where the fertilizer is.”

In The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, we find this prayer for the valleys of life:

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

The real question is whom do we run to with the broken pieces in this valley of vision? Whom do we trust during difficult times? If God is our answer, we may indeed find that he can use difficult and challenging times for a greater good. In looking back, my vision of God’s plan has become clearer, and I begin to understand.

A rabbi once asked another rabbi, “Why does God say that he will write his words on our heart? Why doesn’t he say that he will write these words in our heart?” The older and wiser rabbi responded, “Because God sent his word on our heart, and when our heart breaks, his word then falls into our heart.”

And when his word falls into our heart, we can trust him alone for the victorious outcome. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He will shape our future. We will then see the adversity and our challenging times for a greater good.

Randy Wolff
August 3, 2017
Copyright 2017 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at