Seasons of Suffering, The Rest Of The Story
I woke up yesterday filled with the need to write about the changing seasons in our lives. It never ceases to amaze me how God can give me something to write about then send me somewhere where He has arranged for me to hear, “the rest of the story”.
At church yesterday I was given hope for the inevitable season of despair that we all must face.
Pastor Dan recounted the story told in Acts 16. How Paul and Silas transformed their prison of pain into a prison of praise and finally into a place of personal ministry.
Arrested even though they had committed no crime, Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten, imprisoned and put in stocks. They were in the filthiest and direst of circumstances. Hurt, humiliated, confined and uncertain of their immediate future, they turned to the only help available, they turned to God.
They chose to turn a painful situation into a praiseful situation and ultimately a ministry.
Would you and I make the same choice? Do we curse God as He allows us to endure such pain or do we sing His praises for being with us as we walk through our season of suffering?
Their prison was no longer a place of pain for Paul and Silas, it was a place of praise. They prayed and sang songs to God until a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. The guard was sure his prisoners had escaped and was about to kill himself when he heard Paul assure him that they were all still there. Their current ministry culminated when the guard, because of their praise to God, asked Paul and Silas, what must I do to be saved.
Oh the joy in knowing that their suffering was not in vain and their praise brought a man to salvation.
We all know there will be tough times we will face. Trials and suffering will become a part of everyday life, at least for a season. You still have choices, even in seasons of suffering.
Will you turn your painful situation into a praiseful situation and ultimately a ministry?
Hold tight to the fact that there is hope in seasons of suffering.
I found the following quote in something I was reading and I love it. “When you find yourself in a season of suffering hold tight to the fact that God can turn your sighing into song, He can turn your trials into testimony and your pain into praise. He can take a time of profound heartache and transform it into a time of great help.”
How do you respond to your season of suffering? Are you standing strong in the fact that God is an ever present, all sufficient, all mighty God?
Have you thought about the fact that you are never alone in a season of suffering. Others are watching how you handle the pain and suffering. Are you cursing the God you say you worship or are you singing songs of praise even while hurting, showing others that you do indeed trust your God, even in unbearable pain and fear.
When you hear the prison door slam behind you and you feel hopeless in your fear and pain, cast your eyes upon heaven. God will hear you and God will give your voice wings as you tap into His strength to sing songs of praise. He will give you the courage to turn your season of suffering into a ministry.
Are you preparing to answer their question…….what must I do to be saved?
…………..and so I ride