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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Count It All Joy

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 tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NKJV

God never promised us a pain-free life of ease. He didn’t say we would be without illness, insult, or injury, nor even death in this world. We will all die unless the Lord returns before our time, and most of us will endure pain on the way there. We will all have sicknesses—some severe, some mild.

It’s up to us how we face our tribulations. I’ve been there a few times, and I can tell you, God did comfort me. He’s listened to me rant and rave, cry, groan, and grind my teeth. He’s been patient and loving when I deserved time out in the corner or a good paddling.

Still He asks us to pray, mostly for others, but even for ourselves. I’ve seen some miracles, but mostly I’ve seen people who are amazing in the midst of their sufferings. I’ve heard people pray for others who are sick when they themselves were enduring worse than the ones they prayed for. I see the most empathy from people who’ve been through the worst experiences.

Paul said we should rejoice in our tribulations, because tribulations produced resolution (Romans Chapter 5). If anyone could have complained about his aches and pains, Paul could have, but he didn’t. Instead he continued his work for God, and he continued praying for others.

I hope I will have his courage and generosity when I’m going through that pain. I haven’t always been all that strong. It will take God’s strength.

Lord, please help me when I’m weak. I want to bring honor to You no matter what circumstances I find myself in. Keep me close, Lord. I can’t do it without You. In Jesus’s Name and for His sake. Amen.
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