...were the words that came to my mind when I got yet another tragic piece of news recently. I wondered, why me? Why now? Why after all the challenges I have been through in life? Shouldn't God at least pardon the fact that I have been through stuff so I deserve some level of immunity? But no.....yet another trial. Rather than mope like I did shortly after I lost my mum, this time I had a different resolve - God cannot leave me hanging this way. He will show up for me, whenever, however - it's fine by me. This is the cross I will bear, for whatever reason.
Then another thought came to my mind - who am I to say "why should this happen to me?" After all, a lot of unfair things happened to Jesus Christ - He was lied against, spat upon, beaten, bruised, whipped and even killed, true story! It is funny how we forget and regard ourselves so highly that we think going through trials is something that should not happen to people like us, but again I guess it is our human nature.
The scripture James 1:2 really did my head in on several occasions, it goes as thus - Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Whenever I read this passage, I thought, okay.... so how about those who don't go through such trials of many kinds? How come they get to just bask and enjoy their lives while some of us have to consider 'pain' as 'joy'? I could never connect with the passage and it became so cliché that I would quickly flip past it whenever I came across it during my study. However the word of God is the ultimate truth and the thing that gives God the sweetest smelling glory is when we rejoice in our pain and suffering. In fact it drives the devil mad. It is as though - "why is he/she not down where we want him/her to be after that sudden blow, why is he/she rejoicing?" It doesn't add up - and the truth is it SHOULDN'T add up for satan. Whatever pain or difficulty or trial or challenge or mountainous situation you are going through, you MUST find a way to rejoice in God our father, and genuine rejoicing too. Our primary purpose for being on this earth is to give God worship ALL the time; even before our earthly matters such as family, work and other life considerations.
My pastor, Godman Akinlabi always uses this saying - "Don't waste your pain" and then he decided to preach about it. That single sermon changed my life forever. Do you know you can use the challenges you are going through to expand God's kingdom? Lol - super bizarre but God's ways are not our ways. Check out this verse:
2 Corinthians 1:4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows
This is truly amazing, how else can I help or minister to someone in a situation if I have not been through it myself? Does it surprise you how the most unusual guest preacher who comes to preach at your church, who has no accolades to his name and had what some might refer to as a very 'undignified life' before he got saved, always wins more souls at the end of service, more than the PhD, English speaking, renowned pastor? If you haven't noticed, try and observe it next time. Human beings connect more with reality, with people who have been through real life situations because if God could bring the person ministering to them out of that mess, then they believe that God can do it for them too.
So your pain should not be some soundtrack on repeat in your heart and mind, rather use it for God. You don't have to stand at a podium to minister to people - you can give of your time, share encouragement and the Word at work, write or blog :), you could share someone's burden or do something unconventional for God. Don't waste your pain.
If you believe you will break through according to God's will i.e. you have faith, then you will! However, focus less on how the breakthrough will come and use the time you have to really expand God's kingdom. He needs you, even in the situation you are in now.
If you have never had a relationship with Jesus Christ and you want to take a bold decision to accept Him, leave a comment so I can connect and pray with you. (Comments are not posted without moderation so your privacy will be kept)
A song for your listening pleasure: Even when it hurts (Praise Song) by Hillsong United
God bless you,