“It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” Psalm 119:71.
It was good for me.
Affliction is good for me? Trials are good for me? Tests and temptations are good for me?
That I might learn. That I might grow.
That I might serve.
The Scottish minister, James Stewart, profoundly stated, “In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve.”
The wounded soldier has felt pain, he has been hurt, suffered, maybe even had to crawl out of a hole to get back on his feet. He has had to dodge enemy fire; he had to keep getting back up, time and time again.
But he does.
Psalm 147:3. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”
It doesn’t matter what caused the broken heart or how the injury got there, God is ready to heal us of our wounds so we can move on and help someone else.
Psalm 51:17. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
He sees our broken heart and spirit and that is just what He needs to work with and work through!
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39.
Our trials are not our end. The scripture doesn’t mean we will not experience difficulty or even suffer in this life. We will! He did! But He promised us that because He had overcome, so could we. And not just overcome but use that experience, that hardship as a means to minister to someone else.
Psalm 34:17-20 ESV. “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”
You may not see any purpose whatsoever in the situation you are experiencing at this moment. It may be overwhelming and you feel as if you are drowning or smothering under the weight of it all. Friend, not only does He see where you are but He will make a way of escape and when you do come out of this trial you will be stronger, (yes, you will), and you will draw on these experiences in the days, weeks, months and years to come as reminders of where God brought you from and how He kept you in the midst of the valley. Remember, the valley is where your soul is restored!
God doesn’t waste a test. He has never looked back and thought to Himself, “Man, I sure wish I hadn’t made them go through that; it was a waste of time.”
God has a purpose for everything and nothing is just coincidence with Him!
“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.” ~ Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place.
“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11 ESV
He will guide, satisfy your desire and make your bones strong. Where? IN the scorched places! In the midst of the fire is where we find that guidance and the strength we need to keep going and to help others. We will be like a watered garden, fruitful, healthy and thriving.
No matter what we are going through, it is for a purpose, He will make something good out of it if we hold on to His hand, trust and believe He knows what is best.
Even if the end is our end? Yes, even then.
God had a purpose for Stephen in the Book of Acts. He had a great ministry sharing the Gospel to those in his world and yet, he suffered greatly, unto death. Our ultimate goal is to see Jesus, to be with Him, to live eternally in another world, isn’t it?
“When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’
Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:54-60 NKJV.
Stephen’s focus wasn’t even on what was happening to him, it was on Jesus.
That is my prayer for you today. No matter what you are going through that your focus is Jesus. Rest assured in the Word of God that He is for you and that He will see you through, whether it is in this life or if He takes you to the next, you will see the Glory of God.