Tuesday, May 5, 2009

These "Light" Afflictions

It is so encouraging to see fellow believers "fight their fight of faith" with grace and strength. The Internet makes the world so small. We cannot only see but interact with people from around the globe. And to see children of God walk their difficult days in victory speaks volumes.

One of our pastors once said that God does not give us the grace we will need for a certain struggle until we are in that certain struggle. For instance, He doesn't give cancer grace until we are battling cancer. He doesn't give marital infidelity grace until we face a betraying spouse. He doesn't give wayward child grace until we are having to intercede daily on behalf of our precious son or daughter. But He does promise grace for today. He will never leave or forsake us.

I was reading in Romans this morning. Paul--who wrote the letter--always encourages me with his fiery zeal for the Lord. He continually talks about the hope-of-what-is-to-come outweighing any afflictions we might encounter in this earthly realm. Every struggle we face in our brief moment on this planet is an opportunity to choose trust over fear. As we choose to trust a loving Father, who sees everything from beginning to end, we will experience the victory He intended for His children.

Fear comes naturally. Fear of the unknown--where we cannot control the outcome--tries a weary spirit. But just as Paul reminded Timothy, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) If we walk our days in fear then we are not abiding in the Spirit of God. It really is that simple--in theory. In actuality it is a battle for the mind--am I going to dwell on these temporal sufferings or am I going to set my mind on things eternal and true?

Let us set our minds on the hope to come--living these days as a testimony to God's goodness and faithful provision...in spite of circumstance. Get to know Him from His word. Then let's allow Him to transform us through our afflictions. Seek Him. He promises to be found.

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