I will never forget the first time, when God taught me how to find hope and joy through suffering. It was at a time when I had been recovering from one of many knee surgeries. As I sat in my living room alone, with tears running down my cheeks; God began to work with me through several Bible verses in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, which reads… "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9)And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
I have to admit that the first time I read these verses…I was a little confused. As I began to open myself up to God…I said… "How can I rejoice, when there is pain in my body and all hope seems to be gone?" This just did not make sense to me; but then God revealed the true joy thru suffering to me, at the end of verse 9, which says… "that the power of Christ may rest upon me." As I read these words, it was as if the confusion had instantly left me…and now I was understanding what He was trying to convey to me. In other words…He was showing me that even though I wasn't handling life and what it had brought to me at the moment…He could; because His grace is greater than any problem we face, which from there began to open up my heart to hope…in a way that I had never experienced it before.
Just think…we aren't alone through the troubled times and we haven't reached a place of defeat, even though we may feel that way at times; because God's hand is upon us, during these crucial moments in our lives. You know…we can't escape evil; but we must remember that even though Satan is attempting to keep us weakened and in bondage; God is taking hold of that weakness and He's turning it around…to use that weakness, as a means of producing a greater strength within us.
I think the reason why we find it difficult to rejoice through these difficult times we face; is because we are more focused on where the problem may be leading us, rather than where God can take us through the difficult times. If we could only look for the hand of God at work within these moments; then hope would spring alive within us and give us that reason we need to rejoice.
No matter what we face…and no matter how difficult it can be, to make it from one day to the next; there is hope…a hope that can help us to rise above despair…to a place where we can connect with the One who is already on it…the One who is working to take hold of the weakness and exchange it for His perfect strength; and when we can see the difficult times in this way; that is when we will truly discover a joy within our hearts that can help us to rejoice through the difficult times of suffering.
Have a very blessed day…and ALWAYS know that God's got you…and the problem!
It's Always & Only Because of Him…
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