by Paul Tautges | January 13, 2012 3:00 am
Dear suffering brother or sister in the Lord,
I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately and praying the Lord will continue to strengthen and comfort you in your present trial and bless you with the eyes of childlike faith so that you may see through the fog of your pain to His goodness and grace in Jesus Christ. I realize you are suffering in a specific way that you had not expected. This kind of suffering happens to other people, not to you. I know. I understand. But God has custom-designed this trial for the purifying of your faith, spiritual growth, and blessing so you may more effectively dispense His grace to others. He is working.
Oh, yes, I realize we don’t need to experience everything someone else does in order to legitimately minister to them. The truth of God’s Word penetrates the soul and comforts the heart with or without an empathetic servant to deliver it. However, it is gracious of the Lord, and immensely helpful to us, when we receive God’s comfort from someone whose heart oozes the empathy of biblical compassion. Now it is your turn. You are the one receiving the abundance of grace because somewhere down the road there will be another sufferer who will desperately need you. Be ready to ooze grace upon them. Their heart, soul, and mind will need it like you need oxygen. And they will need you near them—to carry their spirit—like you need your two legs to carry your body.
So, if in the midst of your storm your mind becomes weary and your memory cloudy then cling to simple anchors of faith like these two passages of Scripture.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…(Rom 8:28-29, NASB)
In this passage, I see three incredible truths that apply to your current situation.
Then, consider another anchor:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ (2 Cor 1:2-5).
In this passage, I see five more principles that encourage your growth in Christ during and after your time of suffering.
What kind of suffering are you presently enduring? What is your current struggle? What brings you indescribable pain? Meditate on the above truths and let God dispense His grace to you in the midst of your pain to produce future fruit for His glory. The grace you receive from Him during this time will be stored up for the day in which someone else will need it.
Your friend and fellow sufferer, Paul
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