Sore muscles. Skin hurts to touch. Hips too sore to walk. Stomach aches. Sore throat. And MORE! My body was betraying me and I felt stalked by failure! Homeschool, taking care of my family, being a good wife – all of it was more than I could bear.
We were in the process of raising support to move overseas as a pilot missionary family. I was homeschooling Kindergarten and 2nd grade. I had been having “symptoms” for a couple of years, but we never could figure out what was wrong. Different doctors told me different things and then dismissed me. That year, my symptoms got so bad that my whole body hurt. I could barely walk at times, and many days I was stuck in bed because I was so sick. We finally found a doctor who referred us to a rheumatologist. After several visits, tests and blood work he diagnosed me with Sjogren’s Syndrome and an anxiety disorder. Relief. No Cure. Panic. What now?? Where was God in all of this?
Every person on earth has to deal with something that throws them for a loop. It could be an autoimmune disease like mine, cancer, loss of pregnancy/child, infertility, losing a loved one, or a myriad of other ways life happens. I have heard the question over and over, “Why would God allow this if he is a loving God?”
Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” It is the WORLD that has trouble. Sin set that world in motion at the very beginning. It was not in God’s original plan for us, but we are required as humans to live in this world. We will pay the price for sin being in the world. The cool part about all of this is that we aren’t stuck here forever!
1 John 4:4 says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” God is greater! He does win! We can still have His peace, His joy. Is it easy? NO! I still have to deal with my issues, but God is always there. Can He take my Sjogren’s away? YES! But I believe that in many cases he leaves things in our lives to bring us closer to Him. He teaches us through them and equips us to help others who may be going through something similar. Of course, as with everything, the Lord gives us a choice. That’s part of being human.
- What was God’s purpose according to vs. 10-11?
- Why did Paul not lose heart because of his trials?
- Make a list of all the ways that Christ can help us and keep us strong according to vs. 16-19.
- Which of the reminders from your list speak to you the most?
- How does Paul end his letter? If he can still give glory to God through everything, we can as well!
- If you’d like to know more specifically which trials Paul went through, Click Here. And this is a list of the Bible verses about these trials HERE.
- Write your own prayer and praise to the Lord. Tell Him your sorrows and give Him glory anyway!
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