Listen: 65 Question 1

I am sorry that you are going through such trying times.  Most of us have had these experiences at some level.  They are never easy, but they can be so instructive.  It’s through times of want and weakness that we really learn to depend on the Lord in a very practical way.  From these experiences, we can learn to say as Moses did in Exodus 15:2, “The LORD is my strength and song…”  It’s through times like these that we are able to realize our own inability and realize the Lord’s unlimited ability.  Listen to the words of King David in Psalms 18:2, “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

It was the Apostle Paul who learned from his sufferings as we read in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  For the believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are at our strongest when we realize just how weak we are.  Then, and only then, will we open ourselves to the strength of the Lord.

It was in a time of trouble and poverty that the church in Macedonia was used of the Lord to minister to the needs of their fellow saints.  2 Corinthians 8:1-5 tells us, “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.”  Even in their poverty, they saw the needs of others and ministered to them out of what they did have.  We are often so concerned about what we do not have that we lose sight of what we do have.

Times of trial are times of learning.  Joseph was hated by his brothers.  They faked his death and sold him into slavery.  He was bought by an Egyptian captain and served him until his wife falsely accused Joseph of raping her.  He was put into prison for over two years.  He was finally released because he was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.  He rose to great prominence in Egypt, becoming second in command after Pharaoh.  The Lord allowed and used those terrible times to prepare Joseph for greater opportunities and responsibilities.  It was because of the experiences of Joseph that he was used to save the Lord’s people during a time of famine.  When he considered what his brothers had done to him, he said to them in Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

Daniel served the Lord while in captivity.  The Apostle Paul served the Lord while in prison.  The Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation after he was exiled to the isle of Patmos.  There are so many of the Lord’s people that did great and marvelous things during times of hardship.  Unless you allow them, your circumstances will not prevent you from serving the Lord.  Romans 8:31-32 tells us, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”  Nothing or no one can defeat the believer that is depending on the Lord.  We are overcomers; we are more than conquerors.  Listen to the words of the Lord in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”

No persecution, no poverty, no circumstance can stop the servant of the Lord.  Serve Him in whatever capacity you are capable.  Be faithful in few things and watch the Lord give you the opportunities to serve Him in greater things.