Tuesday, February 28, 2017
And So We Speak
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Co 4:16-18.
Have you ever noticed that while you are in the middle of a season of suffering it seems like forever? I clearly remember a time in my life when this was the case. My sister was diagnosed with cancer and lived 11 months. As a family, we took turns being there for her on days when our brother-in-law had to travel with work. The day to day was grueling for Beth which made it also grueling for us to watch. The journey was long in emotions and heartbreak, but short in duration in comparison to the long view of life. During that time, we set up a CaringBridge website which was a daily update of our journey. We would post the happenings and others would post amazing encouragements. There is no doubt that ministry happened on that website. People would comfort us, suffer with us, celebrate with us and eventually they mourned with us. When I look back at the impact that experience and sharing had on the lives of others I know that Jesus was revealed. I am confident that lives were changed and hearts were renewed in Christ. Heaven will one day reveal the eternal significance that experience had and that the pain was full of purpose. Perspective can only come when we are on the other side of the valley looking back. I have said a million times that I cannot believe that experience was only 11 months. During that time, it seemed like forever, but looking backwards I can see the glory of God and how it continues to illuminate years later.
That is what Paul is speaking of when he says our light and momentary troubles. It is not that those times are easy and free of pain. However, in the light of eternity where everything is restored and every heart is reconnected the experience seems to fade into yesterday. ‘When it comes to pain we experience, we may not always consider how it will ultimately minister to others. Most of the time, we are just trying to make it through. But Paul wanted his suffering to bring life to others.’ All Things New, p. 62. Some of the greatest work is done when our suffering impacts the lives of others with our testimonies. We cannot keep quiet about the way Jesus carried us through and delivered us from despair and weakness. ‘If we’re going to walk through the valley, it’s a blessing to know it will count for God’s kingdom and His people.’ All Things New, Kelly Minter, p. 62. I hope that if you are walking through a season of suffering that you will be encouraged that your pain is not void of purpose. I pray that you will share in your suffering with others allowing them to comfort you. I know that when we speak courage and comfort into our own testimonies we speak courage and comfort into the lives of others.
“I believed; therefore I have spoken. With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us…” 2 Co 4:13-14.