For Those Suffering - Broadcast for February 11, 2013
Suffering comes in all shapes and sizes. Suffering is always in the present even though it may have started in the past and could carry into the future. Some suffering is small, more of an annoyance and some suffering is huge and overwhelming.
In James 5:13 we read: Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. (James 5:13 NKJV) What is the remedy for suffering? Prayer! Paul suffered and prayed three times that the Lord would remove it. God answered Paul’s prayer by saying: “My Grace is Sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a) If we pray when we suffer, God gives us grace to endure the hardship or trial until it runs its course. If the suffering is short, the grace will be with us each step until the suffering ends. If the suffering is life long, then we will have grace, for it, for life.
The second part of God’s answer to Paul was: “for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9b) The thorn Paul bore made him weak but showed God’s strength perfectly. The thought of God’s grace and strength being revealed in our suffering almost makes you cheerful doesn't it? If it does, you should sing songs of praise to the Lord. I don’t make lite of your suffering, for I have my own, but if you suffer, I encourage you to pray.