Friday, October 9, 2020 -
It would be so nice to know in advance the purpose God has in store for our tribulations and sufferings. I often contemplate this very thing and I have already seen plenty of blessings and kingdom purposes that have resulted from my own current travails. And I am certain there are many I do not yet know about. Thus, in hindsight, I would not trade my travails for life as I once knew it, if I had the choice.
The refining process that Kathie and I have been through, the strengthening of our marriage, the time I have been able to spend studying God’s Word in preparation for the next phase of ministry God may have for me, ways we have been able to speak into the lives of others which never would have happened, a little girl, being rescued from a childhood of sexual and emotional abuse, and I could go on and on with the benefits of our sufferings. Any one of these things would have made our tribulations worth it all, and I praise God for that.
And had I not been incarcerated, I would not have been exposed and learned of the great injustice of our judicial system and the farce that our prison system is which is supposed to be reforming and rehabilitating criminals. Whether I may in the future be able to have some input into helping to make these two systems better remains to be seen.
But I do know this that I have learned; Never, ever, must we question or second guess the difficulty God allows us to go through. He has a purpose! But He can’t use us if we’re bitter, or complain, or fight back. He is our great Shepherd, and as David so aptly says in Psalm 23, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.”
So no matter your circumstances, trust Him in faith through your difficult times, and know that not only will you be a better, more faithful person because of it, but those around you will be as well. For they are watching how you deal with your own travails. “For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise those who are prisoners” (Psalm 69:33).