Adversity's Dark Mile

W. Terry Varner
September 8, 2013

In Scotland, as in many nations, there is a narrow and dangerous mountain road. There is no way around it; therefore, many must travel it to reach their destinations. Many have lost their lives traveling this dangerous road that many people have termed it, “the dark mile.”

This is applicable to our life. Between here and heaven, we must travel the dark mile or the dark miles. There is no way around them. We have to travel them to go to heaven. They are treacherous and many spiritual causalities have resulted. We can travel this dark mile safely IF we learn about the nature of adversity.

Adversity is certain. What person has been exempt from trials, adversity, and difficult times? We know they come to all whether they are righteous or evil, young or old, educated or uneducated, rich or poor. All we have to do is to look around us or simply look closely at our own life.

Becoming a Christian does not exempt us from trials; therefore, none should be surprised when they are part of life. The Bible teaches that we should expect them. “Yet man is bom to trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). “Man that is bom of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). “We must through much tribulation [trials] enter into the kingdom of God [heaven]” (Acts 14:22).

Adversities are uncertain. Trials come to each of us, and they are uncertain. They are uncertain in the kind of trial we undergo. None knows what form of trial one may be called to bear. They are uncertain as to time. Life can change in hurry. The life of Job is a testimony to this fact. Be glad that our Father’s goodness prevents us from seeing the future, for if tomorrow’s problems should be added to today’s difficulties, we would be unable to bear them. They are uncertain as to length. Time in trials can be either be either a friend or foe. Time, a gift from God, can heal and ease many trials. Yet, time is most difficult when we are having trials. If we can see no end to a trial, then we feel hopeless and desperate. We must have patience to endure our trials or as Paul writes, “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). In other words, we must continue in faithfulness at the tasks before us while we endure the trials.

Adversity is painful. Trials are painful because we are human. Paul spoke of his trials as, “none of these things move me” (Acts 20:24); i.e. while his trials were painful, perhaps a sign of God’s love and they are necessary to spiritual growth, they did not move him away from serving God. God understands our trials are painful and says, “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous” (Hebrews 12:11). Our Lord knew pain from His trials. He said to His apostles, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:37-38). Remember, God was with Him. He is with us, regardless the trial.

Adversity is temporary. All enjoy earthly life; however, for the Christian he must learn to view this life against the backdrop of eternity or heaven. Time here is only a small part of our existence. Understand that trials are temporary and insignificant when compared to eternity. The Bible teaches: “If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us” (Romans 8:17-18). Trials are but for a season (cf. 1 Peter 1:6).