“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalms 119:50 )
Have you ever received a promotion and then wished that you hadn’t gotten it after all? Maybe you realized that the extra responsibility or frustrations it was causing you just was not what you had anticipated?
In God’s word we see many promises from our heavenly Father; in some circumstances I believe we, as Christians, would like to alter some of the words to be a little more to our liking.
For example; in 1 Peter 1:6-7 “. . . Though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. . .”
We as human beings really do not desire, enjoy, or ask God to be allowed to suffer. In fact, we usually do everything in our power to avoid it. I know in my own circumstances of being chronically ill, it has not been something I would have deliberately asked God to allow me to go through, it has been painful, and at times I have felt hopeless.
Though I know my god is a loving god who cares about everything in my life, I couldn’t help but think, is this a consequence of sin, or past actions? What is the purpose in all of this suffering?
Recently I came across a quote by Matthew Henry:
“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.”
After dwelling on this for a while I thought about several specific points, one, that the trial is or was not a result or a consequence of sin but we were to consider it an “extraordinary grace,” a blessing from our God!
What a concept! I know this is very hard to do at times, (at least for me), especially when one is in the middle of enduring a time of illness, pain, and suffering.
But by looking at this as a blessing we can find strength to persevere. With this one small change we can continue to remedy our thinking process, to realize in His mercy, God is actually granting us a promotion!
Which was the second point I meditated on: A Spiritual Promotion?
Now this promotion will most assuredly not feel like a promotion you would receive by worldly standards, but in eternal standards it will surpass anything this world could ever offer in prestige, or financial gain. It will gain for us a deeper, clearer walk, believing in the promise God offers us of his faithfulness, (Psalm 100:5) to have hope and joy in all circumstances (Romans 15:13) and in a love beyond all conception with our loving heavenly Father.
Prayer: Father, today I thank You that Your promises are true, that Your love for us goes beyond our understanding, so that in the midst of our suffering You are willing to grant us Your grace and mercy; so much so as to grow us in a Spiritual Promotion, that we may draw ever closer to You. Amen.
About the author:
Diane Kalata lives in Florida. She has three grown children, and a wonderful husband who offers much support. She enjoys leading a women’s bible study group as well as a chronic pain and illness support group. She enjoys art as well. She is a colon cancer survivor; she has chronic irritable bowl and fibromyalgia as well as other digestive issues. But her greatest joy is encouraging and sharing with others all that God has done in her life and continues to do.
How have you seen God work through your illness? Does it compare to a “spiritual promotion”?
With promotions come the times we need to make a move, whether it be spiritual or emotional. “Make A Move” is an upbeat song by Royal Tailor about how to sop being stuck in our life. Hope you enjoy, -Lisa