Can Suffering Turn to Gladness?

When you grow weary of all the battles you are up against, do you start to doubt that God has blessings and delights awaiting you? Vicki shares.

“Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble” (Psalm 90:15).

How do you feel about your struggles? Moses’ battle cry was, “We finish our years with a moan” (Psalm 90:9b).

After a series of trials we determine, “I’m due for a break.” The math behind the logic goes something like this:
– Two years of surgeries and hospitalization, deserves two years of relief
– Five years of cancer treatments, deserves five years of good health
– Shut-in for three years, deserves three years without loneliness
– Depression for ten months, deserves ten months of peaceful emotions

Moses knew just how to turn that logic into a prayer. He boldly prayed, “Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble” (Psalm 90:15).

He essentially asked God to make the number of joyful days equal to the amount of days suffered. Kind of like a divine balance. Did God grant Moses’ request? Yes. After years of bondage and walking in the wilderness, the Israelites reached the Promised Land.

Job and Joseph also experienced gladness after suffering. “The Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).

Pharaoh told Joseph, “‘You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.'” (Genesis 41:40-41).

Can we approach God with Moses’ prayer? Charles H. Spurgeon answered that question in his book The Treasury of David.

Spurgeon assured readers that, “If we have fierce afflictions we may look for overflowing delights, and our faith may boldly ask for them. God who is great in justice when He chastens will not be little in mercy when He blesses, He will be great all through: let us appeal to Him with unstaggering faith.”

So, yes, we can boldly ask God for “overflowing delights.”

Prayer: Dear Father, I come before You with unstaggering faith. Asking that You’ll do for me what You’ve done for others. Please fulfill Your promise in Jeremiah 31:13 to, “turn (their) mourning into gladness … and give (them) comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 33 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/

Vicki wrote a picture book about bullying: Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies. You can find out more about that book by visiting her Heart Eyes website: http://www.hearteyes.net

Can you think of a time when God gave you relief from your suffering? Did He bless you with a period of “overflowing delights” in a surprising way?

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