If you find yourself in the throws of adversity, we understand how you must feel.
Since Mr. Hillman experienced great adversity himself, he knows how helpful it is to speak to someone who understands your situation. We care deeply for your need and we have done our very best to provide you with a multitude of support, much of which Mr. Hillman would have provided you if he had been able to speak with you.
If you have not yet read Os Hillman’s book, The Upside of Adversity: From the Pit to Greatness, you can read the first chapter free by clicking here. This book reveals how God can work through our adversity and bring us to a new understanding of the purpose for which God created us. For more on Upside of Adversity click here.
Do you have a Joseph Calling? Learn what it means to be a modern-day Joseph in Os’ 4-part online video series.
We encourage you to watch Os Hillman’s personal spiritual journey.
You can also watch his interview on TBN by clicking here. Another more recent interview was also done in 2011. Os also shares his story of how he started writing he popular TGIF devotional that is now subscribed to by more than 250,000 worldwide in this video.
New! Do You Know Satan’s 3 Greatest Lies?
Watch our new FREE video series on Satan’s 3 Greatest Lies he speaks to believers to defeat their destiny. www.3GreatestLies.com
We have developed a comprehensive articles site to help provide you with valuable guidance in 21 different categories of needs. Please visit our site at http://www.intheworkplace.com
In addition, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions about adversity. You can download this file by clicking here.
Additionally, the TGIF Bookstore online resource center brings together much of the best material available to help you in your daily walk. There is a category on “Adversity” and also one for “Purpose/Calling” in which you may find materials helpful to your current situation. Visit the site at www.tgifbookstore.com
On a more personal level, Mr. Hillman would like to share with you some insights that he learned from his own experience with adversity.
A Letter from Os Hillman:
Dear Friend in Christ – I wanted to let you know that the season you are in will pass and God will make something good of your experience. The keys to getting through your adversity are:
- Take one day at a time and ask God for grace for that day only
- Don’t project outcomes to the future. In other words, don’t think about all the ramifications of what “may” happen resulting from your circumstances
- Meditate on the Word of God and be obedient to the small things He shows you.
“Lord, I pray for that you will give the grace needed for this hour. That you will give peace in the midst of the storm and turn the Valley of Anchor (trouble), into a door of hope in this life (Hosea 2:15). Use this child of yours for your Kingdom purposes and demonstrate your faithfulness in meeting needs at this time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Os Hillman and the staff at Marketplace Leaders
If you find yourself in a season of adversity, we recommend you spend time meditating on scriptures. Os Hillman has compiled the scriptures that have helped him most in his times of adversity. Click here to access.
If you find that need to speak to someone in person immediately – please call our anonymous prayer line at 855 440 HOPE (4673). Also, please contact your local Pastor or contact or the American Association of Christian Counselors http://aacc.net/resources/find-a-counselor/. These people have dedicated their ministry lives to serving your needs. Please call them.
If God Is In Control, Then Why…
IF GOD IS IN CONTROL THEN WHY…? deals with that difficult question about the nature of God that plagues the minds of most people. Whether you are a lifetime believer in Christ or you have just begun looking for answers, the question, “If God is in control, then why…?” has probably been one you have heard or asked many times in your life. Craig Hill has gifted insight into God’s Word and an ability to teach through riveting real-life stories. This book brings understanding to the issue of God’s sovereignty and will set your heart at peace, allowing you to trust a just God in an unjust world. Learn more.
Adversity FAQ – From Os Hillman’s webcast, “The Black Hole”
How does this process of “the Black Hole” relate to our calling?
I think that we are all having to make sure that our foundation is on Christ and His kingdom. I think God allows things to happen to allow us to learn where we are in our own journey. I went through a season where it was hard to make ends meet. My business dwindled down to almost nothing. But in this season, God was helping me become healed of a stronghold of insecurity and fear, where I was thinking, “It’s all up to me.” I was very performance-driven. Sometimes God corrects this by putting His hand on the very thing(s) we struggle with. This is what God allowed the Israelites to go through. They went through the desert, and the Bible says God brought them there to “tenderly speak to them.” What God often does in the desert is He weens us from the worldly things, to allow us to trust and rely upon Him; that’s what manna was all about. The “pit” means he takes you through a season for your to discover God’s faithfulness. The Israelites’ shoes never wore out in the desert. There is something valuable to learn in the desert, on the way to the Promised Land. The people of Israel were tested to know what was in their heart.
How do you think someone who knows they have a Joseph Calling is ready to move on from the desert season? Is there a way to know?
A lot of people want to get out of the Joseph pit as soon as possible. But often God allows us to stay in a place until there is a heart change. If we are delivered too early, we’ll experience a habit change, but not a nature change. You’ll know when you’re ready to come out of the pit when it doesn’t matter to you anymore. When you become “dead” to circumstances. We must live as though we are dead to stress and worry about outcomes. The minute we start projecting into the future, we start heading into depression. Sometimes we need to pray and ask God for grace for the next 10 minutes, or the next 2 hours – you can’t worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. God says He will give us grace for the time that we need, when we need it.
What were some of the things you felt you were freed from in the desert?
Probably the biggest one for me was performance. When my dad died in an airplane crash when I was 14 that led me to believe that life was all up to me. You know some people live as a slave or an orphan. That’s really what living in performance is – it’s saying, “Life depends on me.” God does call us to work hard and to glorify Him in our work. But life is not totally dependent on me, God is my provider. I had to go through a transition, instead of working 50-60 hours a week, I worked 40. It was a big faith step for me by deciding to demonstrate my faith in God as provider by limiting my work hours to 40 hours a week. I decided I’m not going to strive and sweat and toil over an outcome. In Joshua 24:14 it says, “I gave you a land you didn’t plant, cities you didn’t build.” What God was saying there was that “I have been your Provider, sometimes I give you less than what you think you deserve, but other times I give you more than you deserve.” I have many testimonies of God providing for me in that desert season. I used to get very angry when people would fail in finances, but I am not that way any more. Sometimes God delivers us from an area that keeps us from knowing the love of the Father because we’re bound up in a stronghold.
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Is God angry at us?
That is the million dollar question. Why do things like the Holocaust, or slavery, or the death of a child, those types of things, happen? The simple answer is that God gave us free will. When He gave man free will in the garden of Eden, it meant that evil could come into the heart of a man. So either He controls mankind completely and we’re all robots, or we have free will. And as long as He gives us free will, He’s not going to overrule it. Sometimes He does get involved in our activities supernaturally. But He gives delegated authority to man. Because of that delegated authority, we have certain influence ourselves by praying into things and asking God to fulfill His some 7500 covenant promises. That’s why when you get woken up at night, God’s looking for someone to pray a prayer because He works through human involvement. Sometimes Satan is allowed to operate. It says in John that Satan is the ruler of the world. So we have a battle here on earth. But we are here also to defeat the works of darkness. In John 10:10 it tells us that Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy.
The important thing to make sure of is that we don’t have sin going on in our own life. If there is unconfessed sin in our own life, Satan has a legal right to sift us. Jesus said, “There is nothing in Me,” which meant there was no open door in His life to the enemy. If there’s sin, repent, go to 1 John 1:9, claim that verse, and He will forgive you. But if there is no sin, than it’s either a consequence of the call of God on your life, God is doing something in your life that you cannot see at this time, and He is moving you into your larger story.
How do you reconcile God’s omnipotence with the authority He has entrusted to us?
God has placed a lot of trust in His people to be His representatives on earth. Jesus prayed, “On earth as it is in heaven.” So we are here to be conduits of His kingdom. It’s not just the mentality: “Well, whatever’s going to happen is going to happen” – that’s a fatalistic view of the world. We can’t just wait for the rapture and think, “Well, the world’s going to hell anyway.” That’s not the way Jesus taught. We are here to be salt and light – to be Change Agents. So that’s what we want to be thinking about.
What are some practical things we can do during times of adversity?
You know the word of God is such an important part of our lives. It is life and truth and manna for us. You have to spend time in the word – to get up in the morning and be with God. I find that many leaders will come to me and complain that they are going through adversity, and I’ll ask them how much time they are spending in the word of God. Are you really meditating on God’s truth, and His truth about you? The truth will make you free. If we don’t believe the truth in our life, then we are going to get eaten up (by the world and by the enemy). So it’s really important you do that. Also, get some exercise, volunteer, get your mind off of your circumstances and you and get it on other people. There is always someone who is worse off than ourselves. We have to find the things we are thankful for.
What happens when I feel like my vision has completely died? How do I know if my dreams will become reality some day or if the plan changed?
Continually lay those dreams and visions before God. Pray into them and ask God to clarify them. Move toward what you know to move toward, and eventually it will become plain as to what you are called to and what you are not called to; often that is a part of the process. Sometimes you’ll get confirmations through people or circumstances. Sometimes it just takes time for things to be revealed.
I thought that God was going to raise up a Christian magazine I was working on to birth the vision of Marketplace Leaders. But He used something small, a little devotional I had been working on called TGIF. Many times the thing we we think God’s going to prosper is not what He ends up prospering. So we have to be sensitive to His leading.
How do I deal with betrayal?
I call this the graduate level test. But in order to see if we graduate, God asks us to wash the feet of Judas. When you’re betrayed by someone close to you, you can’t forgive them in your own strength. So we have to go through this process with God. There are tough things that happen to people. If you think about a person who lost a loved one to murder, or someone who has been sexually abused – there’s some really bad things that happen in the world, and yet God says -there still has to be forgiveness. The one thing that helped me was for me to get the revelation of how much God forgave you. There’s no way that any of us can be a victim to our circumstances when we look at the cross. We were sinners, and Jesus didn’t have any sin, He was perfect. And as a result of that, He stood in our place. Forgiveness is more for us than for the person who wronged us – its like setting ourselves free from prison when we decide to forgive.
Lack of forgiveness can result in physical ailments – and the Bible says when we do not forgive, the Father cannot forgive our sins. (Matthew 6:15)
How do you get specific direction for your life when you are in the black hole?
The black hole is a unique season… many people I’ve talked to who have experienced this also say it’s like you can’t punch your way out of a plastic bag. In the natural, it’s a horrible place to be. But suddenly things started changing. And it wasn’t because I did anything. I think the biggest thing to gain direction is to spend time with God every morning. Ask Him: “Okay Lord, do I turn left? Do I turn right?” Sit still and wait for clarity. The Bible says we are called to work and care for our families, so we need to try and do that – but sometimes we get in places where there is just no good answer, except for listen and wait.
How do you explain to people that might be bitter about their experiences that God loves them, even though He is allowing a death to self in the process and is actually orchestrating the pain?
The first thing is that shows me there is a spirit of entitlement toward God – they feel that God owes them something, which can cause an ungrateful spirit to enter our life. The thing I would encourage them in is studying more of the Bible. American Christianity has taught a theology that says, “If I just do these things, my life will go well,” or in other words, an outcome-based or performance-based theology. But that’s not scripture. I think helping people really understand what the Bible really says about adversity, calling, and the journey with God. I think also looking at our 3 Greatest Lies videos (www.3GreatestLies.com) will help – Satan wants to get you an I to impugn the nature of God, so that we will not fulfill our ultimate destiny. Mark 14:27 in the Message version says, “You’re going to feel like the world is falling apart, and that it’s all My fault.” But we know that God is a good God because He sent His son Jesus to die for us, so that we would not have to spend eternity in hell. We don’t understand everything – in the Bible it says He never leaves us nor forsakes us – but we may not feel Him all the time. Also, not requiring a logical answer to something – our life in God requires that we trust Him – and have faith.
If a man feels like he is ready to surrender to adversity and see what God is trying to teach him, but his wife is caught in bitterness or anger toward God from the circumstances, how can the man lead his wife and foster more unity between them to get through the season and come out of it TOGETHER?
The man needs to step in and stand in the gap and interceed. Ezekiel 22:30 says, “I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall.” So you as the man who is to be the head of the family and also lay his life down for his bride, are to really pray for her, and love her, and not shame her or try to make her react a certain way. There may be wounds from the past in her life that are influencing her emotions. The biggest thing is to love her as Christ loves the church and keep standing for her complete healing and emotional and spiritual restoration.
Do you find yourself slipping back into the old, earthly mindframe of wanting to do things yourself, and if so, how do you get back in the right relationship of total dependence on God?
In the major areas where God did a work in my life I’m not tempted to go backward, you might call it a renewing of the mind. But there are other areas where the Holy Spirit has to remind me if I have gone across a line I was not supposed to. It is a journey – only Jesus fulfilled plan A. But, He turns our B and C plans and makes them His “A” plans. Walking with God is a journey, and we’re not going to perfect it, we may fail, but the good news is that as a son or daughter we can come to the Father easily. 1 John 1:9 says that if you confess your sins He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. No matter how much you fail, it says He always loves you. In Zephaniah 3:17 it says He delights in you. So, don’t get into a performance mindset – keep moving toward the cross.
What happens if I still feel pain after I have gone through the routines of forgiveness?
You can forgive and still have pain. It takes healing over time. The important thing to know if you have forgiven or not is if you think of the person or your hear their name, if there are negative emotions as a result of you thinking of that person. If there are, then you have probably not forgiven. You need to forgive them again, ask for God’s grace for that, and start praying for them. Start blessing them in your prayers. I’ll never forget one time when I had a betrayal in business and I said, “God, surely you don’t want me to continue to promote their product?” and He said, “Well, why wouldn’t I?” “But God,” I said, “He’s saying awful things about me!” “Whose problem is that?” He said. It took 5 years before the person finally came around and forgave me, even though I had asked for forgiveness years earlier. The more proactive you are the more healing comes. There are things that cause a lot of pain. And sometimes it takes a while for the heart to be healed, especially over devastating situations.
How do you know what your inheritance is?
The Bible says in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, do unto the Lord – it is the Lord Christ you serve and therein is your inheritance.” Our inheritance is often tied to our purpose and what God calls us to. God has put within you DNA, and that DNA is to be reflected in a passion or whatever He calls you into. So if you’re called to be a lawyer, or a teacher, or in sports – if that’s where God has called you to, then that’s where your inheritance is. Why would Christians want an inheritance? The reason is because God rewards us in heaven as a result of what we do on earth. There is a level of responsibility that is tied to your inheritance, so it is important that we realize that our inheritance is tied to what we do here on earth. So for example, if you are called to write, Satan may attack you in that area, making you feel insecure about writing or inspire thoughts like “I’ll never get published”, so we need to be aware of how Satan might want to attack that gift. Another way of looking at it is “what is your anointing?” What do you do naturally well? There’s other times where God births something through you that you may not do especially well but He develops that gift. You weakness becomes His strength. God works through weakness as well as our strengths.
Another great resource is Os Hillman’s MP3 message, Overcoming Shattered Dreams and Disappointment with God.
We pray that this has provided you with some comfort and help. May God comfort you and guide you and carry you through this time.