In the Bible, we see God dignifying those who suffer and sharing in their pain. He points us to the joy that is to come and gives us supernatural grace to triumph over our suffering. One of the most helpful skills we can develop as believers is the ability to meet Jesus in our own pain, therefore being able to lead others to Him in theirs.
- God uses pain to bring us back to our first love. As believers, God shakes our lives at times to answer the very prayers we have prayed. He uses the least severe means to remove what is hindering our intimacy with Him.
- God uses suffering to prepare His deliverers for His work. Remembering Joseph's journey (Gen. 37-45) God used the very thing his brothers meant for his harm as the tool to position him to save thousands of lives, including his family.
- God uses suffering to reveal His glory. The Bible's best-known example of suffering is Job. Much like he did with Peter in Luke 22:31-32, Satan asked God for permission to sift Job. God allowed Satan access to His friend, putting Job on display and ultimately revealing His great glory.
- God uses pain to prepare God's people to reign. In Daniel 7:27, we learn that the kingdom will ultimately be given to the saints of the Most High God. Yet in light of all of this triumph there is suffering. The book of Revelation shows that God raises up an adversary (the Anti-Christ) and allows His people to endure unprecedented persecution as a means of preparing them to rule and reign with Him.
- Suffering gives God access to the deepest places of our hearts. God's presence is always with us, but we can't always feel it. It is in the moment of greatest darkness, when we are barraged with every reason not to believe and trust, that Jesus gives us a simple command that is the most difficult thing for a suffering heart to do. He simply says, "Open for me" (Song of Sol. 5:2). When His bride is suffering, Christ has only one request—that she responds to His knocking and opens the deepest places of her heart to Him.
See Jesus as your Judge who will fight for you. Commit your cause to Him and demand that every bit of pain bear fruit. Let it draw you into deeper intimacy with Him and equip you for His purpose.
See God as your Father. The Father records the movements of your heart toward Him. That is how deeply He cares for you. Surrender to His wisdom and sovereignty when you don't understand.
See God as your Deliverer. We don't have to choose between intimacy and deliverance. We can have both in their glorious paradox. We can say yes to God in the midst of our pain and believe God for the deliverance He will bring as the righteous Judge.
I challenge you right now to open your heart and allow God to bring you comfort. He promises to comfort all who mourn. I pray that you will be strengthened by the hope that the King is coming. No matter what you are facing, behold your God. He will come with a strong hand.
Adapted from A Cry for Justice by Shelly Hundley, copyright 2011, published by Charisma House. In this book the author uses her story as a backdrop to show how she found healing from the pain, guilt and shame of the abuse she endured as a child and how she came to know Jesus in a new way—as a righteous judge who fights for His people and takes upon Himself the burden of our injustices and pain. To order your copy of this life changing book click on this link.
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 11-14-2011
This week open your heart and allow the Lord to strengthen you by the hope of His soon coming. Join Dutch Sheets and other prayer leaders around the country in praying for our nation and the world. Ask God to forgive and cleanse us of our wicked ways and continue to pray for revival. Pray for the protection and success of our law enforcement and protection agencies, and that plots would be exposed and those involved captured. Thank God for His continued mercy and pray that President Obama and those working with him would seek the Lord for wisdom and direction. Remember Israel, our allies, the persecuted church, our military and their families. 2 Chron 7:14
To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!