This Will Encourage Everyone
Kevin Adam’s Testimony
If you’re alive, you have breath. If that breath has ever been taken away, even for a moment, you have a testimony. Our lives are filled with moments of pain or decisions that wipe clean everything but the shell of who we think we are. Like most who’ve been breathing a while, I’ve also been crushed under the weight of God’s course correcting presence. Though it continues to steal my breath, it saves my life and reminds me who He is – the only thing of value that truly exists. And the only thing of value that my life can produce is to share this truth with those who are unsure. Faith comes by the word but the hope made available through it is often seen first in the pain of those who are willing trust God through it. In that respect, here is a brief window into my personal ongoing refinement.
In the fall of 2008, after a decade of hard work, I had a successful business, high income, great investments and no bad debt. By January 09, within 100 days, I’d lost it all, was in overwhelming debt, and my entire financial structure had collapsed squarely on top me and my family. It’s a common story these days, but still uniquely and personally devastating. Ten years of effort left me with nothing it seemed but guilt, fear, and shame. Two years have passed and my journey continues to unfold. Day by day we press through new obstacles, new threats of lawsuits, foreclosures, and various other collection tactics. And with little income, nothing regular, despair is sometimes only inches away from devouring me. As a way to remind myself to hope, I began to express in writing what has sustained me, kept me from suicide, and still encourages me to press on with confidence.
I began my blog with little expectation that anyone else would read it. But people are reading it and sharing it with others who are hurting. And through it God is revealing His will for me to write, even at the expense of leaving my business career dead on the floor. When this trial began, I’d been a believer for 24 years. But not until it happened did I learn the value of suffering or understand that even Jesus had to learn obedience through it. It’s the process for all who are being prepared for the work of the Lord. And it differs for everyone depending on that work. For us, there have been days with no groceries and no way to buy them, days of not knowing where we would live, days of marriage struggles and depression, and even days of seeing family place material wealth above our need. But in these days I learned something astonishing, something that will forever keep me passionately defending and praising our God to all who will listen. I learned that He loves me and made me priceless. I learned that His word is the bread of life that most believers never truly feast on, and I learned that He wants to talk to me every day about my life through that word.
So in my trials I began to study fervently and write from what I learned. The most important thing for a believer is to get close to God so he can hear His voice. This level of intimacy comes through the word by His spirit. By this means we can be led through the trial toward the work He has planned. I’ve seen His mighty hand feed us and clothe us when we could not. He stabilized our finances when we had nothing. Over and over I saw His hand moving at precise moments. But it took steadfastly staying in His word to open my eyes and understand what He was doing and why. God never wanted to crush me, but it was the only way to get the wine flowing from me that He intended for others. So my pain has become my passion and my former idols of fear and pride have become a condemned enemy. I never realized how useless my life was as a man striving in my own effort to sustain a decade of hard work.
Now, through His word, I hear His voice just as the sheep who know the sound of it. After months of living in moments, at my lowest place, God revealed to me that I would now be free to live for Him and His purpose. And while standing in worship one Sunday He said “I will lift you up now” and He did – it would take pages and pages to express the depth and detail of His blessing in this way, so I’ll just summarize it for you. He told me to let go of business, to write and minister instead. He told me He would sustain my family and take care of our needs and He has. He told me He would restore my marriage and clean our hearts from the pain of childhood and He has. He told me that he would speak through me to encourage people when their lives are shaken, and He is doing it!
Finally, I learned that we cannot please God without faith; and real faith, absolute confidence that God will do what He says, comes at a price; the greater the faith the heavier the price. So for those under the heavy oppression of dark circumstances, there is good reason to hope! God is calling you through the pain for something greater and we have to be ready to listen (even though we’d rather not) because the reward is beyond measure. So my chief aim now as a student of God’s word, and fledgling writer is to help followers of Christ apprehend a real and passionate faith through the study of His word, by simple illustration, and regular encouragement. And by this faith they might catch a vision of who God shaped them to become. The mandate He gave me and all who desire to be free is Matt 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you”.