We’ve all experienced seasons of life that are painful and difficult, when it’s hard to praise the Lord. But we can trust in God’s goodness, and know that He has a reason and a plan.
The Bible gives us many stories that cause us to marvel at what people suffered. Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers because they were jealous of him. Then he was thrown into jail because of a lie told by Potiphar’s wife. After a number of years in prison, he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was rewarded with a position as ruler of Egypt, second to Pharaoh.
When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for food, he revealed himself to them. He said, “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 45:5-8.
The Apostle Paul was imprisoned many times, “beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.” The passage continues to list many other dangers Paul faced. 2 Corinthians 11:23b-27.
Paul is in prison when he writes to the Philippians. “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14.
In the face of all the suffering Paul endured, he continued his letter with remarkable encouragement: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:4-8. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11b-13. “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.
Over the years I have prayed with many people who have gone through horrible experiences. But, as they have hung on to God’s promises, they have seen incredible things happen - things they would not have believed possible. I have interviewed people with remarkable stories of the loss of a child, loss of a spouse, spousal abuse, painful divorce, dealing with cancer, and so many more. The testimonies of these difficult and painful times have helped and encouraged many who are facing similar situations. We are blessed to be able to share these stories over the air waves.
James 1:1-4 gives us more wisdom to carry us through difficult times. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Praise and Prayer
Please continue to pray for our financial needs. All contributions are tax deductible, and all the proceeds go to help keep the radio ministry on the air. All workers for the ministry are volunteers. Unless we receive additional support we will have to give up our spot on a number of stations within the next 30 days.
In His bonds,
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