“Oh what a happy soul am I although I cannot see, I am resolved that in this world contented I shall be” – Fanny Crosby
One of the greatest difficulties of the ministry is seeing people suffer. As a pastor I have watched the sick take their last breath; I have seen parents weep bitterly over their wayward children; I have prayed with people who have lost their jobs, their cars, and their homes. Whenever I visit someone going through great adversity I try my best to offer encouragement and strength in their hour of need.
But through my many years of ministry I have discovered something interesting –oftentimes those people who are enduring affliction are more of an encouragement to me than I am to them.
Amazingly enough, God uses affliction to bring hope and comfort to others. King Nebuchadnezzar would have never seen the “fourth man walking” had not the three Hebrew boys been in the fire. Mary and Martha would have never known resurrection power had not Lazarus died. The world would have never understood the sovereignty of God in such a personal way had not Job lost all that he had. Consider how God used their lives to encourage and equip millions of people down through the years. Sometimes the affliction we endure is ironically for the benefit and blessings of others. Instead of asking God to take away your pain, ask Him to use it for someone else’s gain.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING: Jeremiah 49-50
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