The final discouragement to pound the afflicted or fallen believer is the lie that they are inadequate to serve God. “God is finished with me” is the echoing cry that reaches our ears from the pit of hell. Believe with me, the opposite is true!
Whether battling torrents of trials and heartache or clawing out of a miry pit of sin, the decisive heart toward God, willing to believe and obey, opens every opportunity for spiritual victory. In our weakest, even defeated condition, Sovereign God confounds the powers of hell and prevails over them.
Walking in victory, forging ahead for the Kingdom of God, is not at all contingent upon our physical abilities, mental capacities, finances, or social status. In fact, those personal ‘strengths’ often prove to be subtle snares, leading us to depend upon our resources. In whatever the Lord brings upon us, whatever He takes away, whatever He allows inflicted upon us…we must hold on to the truth that He is in charge of this temporary suffering.
If we continue in faith, no matter how weak it seems, the Lord will use our tears to mold the clay for divine purposes. In His hands, our suffering has great value!
In his sermon, “Don’t Waste Your Afflictions”, Pastor David Wilkerson preaches,
“We want quick-and-easy deliverance. But our afflictions serve no purpose whatsoever if we do not understand why God permits them. The truth is that every affliction, trial, trouble, difficulty and disappointment in our life is allowed by the Lord. And He has a specific purpose behind all of them. Why? it is because He is taking u somewhere–trying to accomplish something in us and through us!” (printed sermon available online)
Whether we are chastised from sin or amidst a storm or wandering in a spiritual wilderness the devil will harass with the same lies, “God has abandoned you”, “You’ve sinned once too many times”, “You are useless and weak, your best days are over and done!” Not so with God.
The word of God demonstrates the victory of God through fallen and weakened man over and over, too many times to list in post here! Many of the testimonies of suffering, struggling, defeat and affliction are well known. But not only must we open the Bible and find these refreshing truths but we must believe that God is ready to intervene in our lives as well.
When our lives are trampled upon and damaged, the greatest challenge in healing and recovery is finding security once again in God’s love. All the human effort and intellect may be unable to configure our suffering with ‘love’. It may seem impossible to believe but there are times when we need only be willing to believe.
The willingness to believe opens the window of heaven. When our world is rocked, the willingness to believe positions us before the word of God and awaits living waters to pour out upon us and revive us, even if it seems drop by drop. Our healing comes through our willingness to drink.
We need not be healed, happy, healthy or prosperous to be victorious servants of God. In fact, the Lord seems to excel through broken vessels.
“Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth You will again bring me up.” Psalm 71:20
In these last days, we must decide to ‘face forward’. Our Savior Jesus Christ won the victory over sin and we are forgiven all. While in this world however, He does not promise to remove all suffering nor repair all damage. Given to Him, He is uses all affliction with divine purpose for His Kingdom and glory.
Let us not wait until we feel whole, totally healed, or even ‘happy’ to avail ourselves to God’s service. Let us not ‘Waste Our Afflictions’ but present ourselves, in whatever state we’re in, as a living sacrifice unto God. (Romans 12) The ‘gifts’ He bestows upon us to serve and honor Him are not at all contingent on merit or ability!
I believe that our greatest healing and restoration comes when, even in our weak and broken conditions, we position ourselves before God in prayer with a decided willingness to believe in His undying love. The certainty of God’s love in our hearts opens our faith again, even stronger, and avails His living waters to flow into us and through us into the lives of others. That is great and profound joy that overcomes the darkness.