Response to Trials; November 6, 2019

Isaiah 38:17 Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.

This revelation that Hezekiah had was perhaps the major purpose of God allowing him to have this experience. Anyone in a position such as king is tempted to pride. (Actually, virtually everyone is tempted to pride!) God dealt with that in Hezekiah through disease, and it worked. In the last half of verse 15 he says, “I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul.” We would do well to open our hearts to the same revelation, that God allows things in our lives not because He is capricious or because He wants to pick on us, but for our benefit. When we have that assurance, we can follow Paul’s instructions: “Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20) The devil does stuff to us that God doesn’t desire, but he can’t do anything to us that God can’t use for our benefit, if we will release it to Him.

This is something I have certainly confirmed over my (so far) 71 years. My health issues have been few and relatively minor, but my wife has had a mountain of them. When she had a fatal heart attack at 27, God allowed her to see the beginnings of heaven and then sent her back, and she’s had no fear of death ever since. When she passed out while driving because of her heart at 47, God had an angel drive her to a safe stop, including making a turn at an intersection and going down a long slope. That taught us that God is always looking out for us. It wasn’t a health issue, but when funds ran out in the middle of building this building and the banks wouldn’t touch us, God used the experience to teach us that He is never at a loss for money, but we’ve got to let Him do things His way. I could go on and on, but I have indeed learned that “The sufferings I suffered were for my peace.” (That’s the Japanese version of this verse.)

Father, thank You indeed for all that You allow us to go through. I am tempted to feel guilty for saying that, when Cathy has such ongoing medical issues, but she too knows You very personally, and her issues affect me too. We have countless unknowns in our lives, but we have the assurance that You love us and indeed use everything that happens to us for our benefit. (Romans 8:28) May we truly rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me to do, so that all of Your purposes for us may be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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