From Our President
WHEN SUFFERING DOESN'T MAKE SENSE
Are you experiencing a trail that doesn't make sense? Are you suffering physically or emotionally? Perhaps you've asked God to take the pain away, but He doesn't seem to want to oblige...
For those who do not belong to Christ, suffering can seem meaningless—senseless.
But as a Christian, you have a promise from God that you can stand on: your suffering is never wasted, it's never meaningless.
This promise comes in the form a Scripture that most Christians know by heart: Romans 8:28 "...all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
The Lord, who called you for His purpose, will use the trail you're going through for your good and His glory.
OUR SUFFERING IS NEVER MEANINGLESS
If you didn't know the rest of the story, you could assume that polio "stole" Ismael's childhood. As a little boy in Uruguay, Ismael became physically disabled by the disease, unable to walk. But Ismael's infirmity wasn't pointless. God used it for good in his life and the lives of many others.
At the age of 14, Ismael gave his life to Jesus Christ. Years later, after several surgeries, he regained his ability to walk. He went on to attend seminary and start the Bible Army of Uruguay in 1949. His mission field wasn't an easy one—Uruguay is one of the world's most secularized countries—but he knew where to start; with people just like him.
Ismael began demonstrating the love and kindness of Christ by providing poor, disabled villagers with much needed medical services and equipment like eye glasses and wheelchairs. This compassionate outreach has caused many in Uruguay to put their faith in the Savior. Because of Ismael's ministry, churches exist today in places that used to be completely unreached by the gospel.
Part of the "good" that can come out of your suffering is preparation for a very specific ministry to others.
SPECIAL PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY
No amount of education can prepare you for ministry like suffering can. It's an experience that works compassion inside of us for others who are going through similar trials. Our savior sympathizes with our weaknesses not just because He's all–knowing, but because he also experienced the same trials and temptations that we face (Hebrews 4:15).
Eight–year–old Emmanuel showed up on the doorstep of Living Stones Ministry in Guatemala (see January 5 in Prayerline), seeking refuge from the abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother's new husband. The love he experienced at the ministry's center caused him to open his heart to Christ.
Several years later, due to ministry workers' diligent efforts, Emmanuel's mother and stepfather also accepted Christ as Savior.
"Recently they were baptized and, after close Bible discipleship, the Lord has restored Emmanuel's family and relationships," the ministry leader said.
Today, Emmanuel is 15 years old and actively shares the gospel with others who are hurting in broken or dysfunctional families.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV.
LET US SERVE YOU
Are you going through a particularly difficult time? Though we may not have personally met one another, we are one Body in Christ Jesus—you are not alone. Let us know how we can pray for you by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us at (434)977-5650 and ask for Donor Relations.
Your suffering hasn't escaped God's notice. He loves you and has a plan for your life.
Until there is a witness for Christ in every nation,
Click here to see past letters from the President