Tidings Of Comfort And Joy
by Kay Arthur
Have you ever considered that the hurt you suffer in your life—whether physical or emotional—might be for God’s glory or used to
achieve His purpose? Instead of fighting your affliction or running from it or trying to wallpaper over it, you can choose to submit to God’s
sovereignty in your life. When you do, watch how God uses your current circumstances to display the sufficiency and power of His grace.
Do you remember when God called Moses to be His designated spokesman, to stand before Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt? Moses was not a man to whom words came easily. He was unskilled in speech, never eloquent. He described himself as “slow of speech and slow of
tongue” (Exodus 4:10). And what was God’s response?
The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” (vv. 11-12)
First, notice that God didn’t contradict Moses’ self-evaluation. He didn’t say, “Oh, come on, Moses, it’s not as bad as you think. All you need is a
little practice.” No, what God told Moses was that He Himself was behind those limitations and had a purpose for allowing them. There is a
purpose in everything that God allows.
God works through our limitations and difficult circumstances to show us He is sufficient for our every need.
Second, God assured Moses that He would be with him in spite of those limitations. God would compensate for his “deficiency.” He would accomplish His perfect purpose through this imperfect man. The fact is, God works through our limitations and difficult circumstances to show us that He is God and that He is sufficient for our every need! As He says in Hebrews 13:5, He will never leave us or forsake us. As He has purposed so it will come to pass; what God plans no man can thwart.
Remember the man born blind whom Jesus healed on the temple mount? When Jesus’ disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:2-3).
The apostle Paul was given a thorn in the flesh, “a messenger of Satan” to torment him. When he asked God for the third time to remove it, God said no. We’ve talked about this already, so why do I bring it up again? Because this time I want you to see the reason for the thorn. The thorn was to keep Paul from exalting himself. And why would he do that? Because of the revelations he had experienced when he was caught up into paradise and shown marvelous things that he wasn’t to speak about. Paul’s thorn would keep him from the awful sin of pride.
He would let Paul experience the power and sufficiency of His grace!
Paul’s response is our example: “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
If God chooses to allow suffering to enter your experience in order to advance His purposes in Your life and give you a deeper experience of Him, the worst thing you could do would be to react in anger and bitterness.
By doing so, you are essentially saying, “God, I don’t want Your plan for my life. If I have to endure this heartache, then I don’t want You to advance Your purposes in me. I don’t want Your provision of extra grace and the sense of Your nearness, because the price is too high!”
Perhaps God has reined you in through some physical infirmity so that the two of you can spend more time together. In response you might argue with God, get angry and stay angry, walk away in rebellion, or seek some temporary, artificial way to nullify the hurt or make it go away. But none of those things will bring healing, and none will help you move on in life.
Your other option—the best option—is to submit to His wise sovereignty and watch how God uses your situation to display the sufficiency and power of His grace.
Excerpted from When the Hurt Runs Deep by Kay Arthur permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.