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Wednesday: Then and Now — 11 Comments

  1. Is it a popular misapprehension that the faithful servant of God must be in good (if not the best) of physical status, health and financial prosperity. Because they are under the protection of the Lord whom they faithfully serve? What then if some misfortune or ill health plagues them or their families, it must be of their own misdoing or harboring some unconfessed sin?

    Sister White states, “When Paul prayed that the thorn in his flesh might be removed, the Lord answered his prayer, not by removing the thorn, but by giving him grace to bear the trial. “My grace,” He said, “is sufficient for thee.” Paul rejoiced at this answer to his prayer, declaring, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When the sick pray for the recovery of health, the Lord does not always answer their prayer in just the way they desire. But even though they may not be immediately healed, He will give them that which is of far more value—grace to bear their sickness". [EGW, In Heavenly Places p82.3]

    • Stephanie, We evaluate and compare other humans as a means of leadership and guidance. It is like everyone else so it must be right! I always turn to Isiah 55:7-9.

      • Thanks Paul, indeed.
        How do we correct such mindsets or thinking, if we come across this? A bit of context to my question, if I may share. In my country where there is very high illiteracy rates (affecting over 80% of the national population) and poverty that cause people to easily turn to doctrines and teachings “promising prosperity” – such that claim ‘healing, physical, spiritual & financial wellbeing’ if you join their denomination and bias the truth. As such, there is also the fear if you do not receive these “blessings” that indicates some sort of divine displeasure. It is a bit more challenging breaking through these mindsets that most times stem from traditional beliefs of cargo cult – cult movement in the wake of the technology age with mostly isolated societies in the Melanesian groups of people.
        The local SDA churches here are working with Personal Ministries such as running Adult Literacy classes that teach those who do not read and write to learn to read their bibles in English or in their own local dialects. This helps them in their own Bible studies and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to learn more about who God is and why sometimes He let’s adversities to happen.
        In spreading the gospel, like apostle Paul, we are crossing geographical and cultural barriers. The word of God cuts through the errored dogmas that exist in our societies. We too have to contextualize to our different audiences and the Holy Spirit leads in opening these avenues of the gospel ministration. Despite the adversities and infirmities that we face in this journey of faith and service to the Most High, would we then be able to one day say like apostle Paul, 2 Tim 4:7 – “I have fought the good fight. I have completed the race. I have kept the faith”.

  2. Well this lesson has reminded me of how faithful Job was to God despite his family being wiped out. Now we hear of Paul getting sick and yet he still clings to do the work of God. This is all possible because of the trust and 100% assurance they had in God. We need this trust and faith no matter what we are going through. Hebrews 11:6, may God help us to trust Him with all our lives

  3. Having a passion for sharing the gospel message goes beyond physical infirmities. During the last year of my Dad's life long ministry he suffered from Diabetes, kidney infection and eventually died of a heart attack. He preached with power just a few days before his death at 83, appearing to be fine, but no one knew of his illnesses.
    I pray that I may have such conviction as my Dad and Paul, that physical infirmaties do not get in the way of my calling in doing God's work.

  4. The question is nearly always, why. Adversity, pain, suffering, and death are common but unexpected as usual, for the average human being. So for this reason the question why? Why me lord? Why a loved one? There are those then that ask why not? That to me is insensitive. Any believer in God and the promises that we have scripture to rely on, can turn to those promises and ask why. Some will struggle with the strength of their faith. As the question above asks, "What other options do you have? Some will lean on the Lord, others will blame God and cast doubt and disbelief in their understanding.

    • The problem of pain and suffering is always with us, and we will always have difficulty in answering it in a way that gives us complete satisfaction. As a Christian, I accept that there is a battle between good and evil and that part of the battle plan of the evil one is to make God appear as bad as possible. I also accept that God uses that pain and suffering for the best good of those who trust him. For me now, explanation is not the challenge, but rather support for those who are suffering and who feel disenfranchised by this battle. We are asked to be there to relieve and support those experiencing pain and suffering, not to offer them philosophical or theological arguments about suffering.

  5. Romans 8:28 28 And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those nwho are the called according to His purpose.

    Galatians 4:13 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first.

    Paul is saying my physical infirmity did not stop me from preaching Christ.
    Put Paul in the prison he finds a convert even prison.
    Have you learn to glorify God in all your life situations?
    Have you been open minded to see the perspective of God in All your circumstances?

  6. We humans are a mixture of personalities. What ever the circumstances that affect our lives, we are usually given choices that result in success or failure. We believe in and trust God. Sadly enough that isn't the majority of earths inhabitants. God is responsible for our existence now and forever. What ever opportunity we have to reach someone that has no relationship with God, is the most pressing need we have. Every one needs to know.

  7. May the God of heaven help me so that even if the crucibles of this world in the many forms come my way i should be able to continue proclaiming the risen Christ to those that have not yet met Him.I pray that like Paul and Job i should continue glorifying God in my infirmities and stop crying "why me God"but should pray that in my infirmities i should learn to say "His grace is sufficient for all....."help me God !!Us christians of today when you get a slight headache you stop going to church on sabbath and proclaim that you are sick and cancel all prigrammes to nurse your situation!help us God !!

    • Some of us need to remember to live our Christianity in the good times as well. When all is going well, we sometimes forget that God has blessed us so that we can extend his grace to others.


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