There are a lot of people going through a lot of tough things right now: some are making good choices, some are making poor choices. The differing responses to the adversity started me thinking. I learned in my high school days that we have two responses to conflict: fight or flight. I see these responses in people who are facing adversity: some embrace it and work through it, some run away from it and hide.
Fighting or embracing adversity is what I believe God desires for us. Writers of the New Testament (James, Peter, Paul) teach us that trials work at strengthening our faith. When we embrace adversity and work through it, we are stronger. It is interesting to me that this is THE path that God has selected for making us stronger, more committed, more like Jesus.
What happens to someone who runs away instead of embracing adversity? My experience and observation is their heart hardens and bitterness, anger at God, frustration that is taken out others and/or abandonment of God (and a lot of other negative behaviors) ensue. They carry a deep pain in their soul that affects their attitudes, actions and words. They begin to be physically affected - either in their facial expressions or in their health. They begin to blame others for their adversity. They lash out at people around them. Everything centers around them and their pain. Frankly, they are not very nice people to be around.
The cool thing is that God never stops pursuing them.
My prayer for the folks that I work with who find themselves in the midst of adversity is that they embrace it now, because God will not stop pursuing them until they are completely broken and are willing to embrace it (they have reached the point where they have no other alternative). God patiently waits for them, patiently calls them, patiently continues to work with them. (Examples: Jonah and Moses.)
Embrace and be strengthened; flee and be hardened. Those are the only two alternatives to dealing with adversity.