Sometimes believers find themselves in situations where they are powerless to do anything but wait for God. Laid out in a sickbed or stuck in a wheelchair. Completely dependent on others. I?ve heard believers say, I feel so weak. I can?t really do anything for others. I feel like I?m not doing anything for God. If that?s you, I hope I can encourage you.
What can we do when God strips away our health, strength or mobility? Over the years I?ve known a number of believers who, though they were unable to ?do? much for God because they were sick, really did so much that glorified him. Here?s what I?ve seen them do, and what I hope I could do by God?s grace should I find myself in their shoes.
In the middle of unfathomable weakness and agony Job said, ?Though he slay me, I will hope in him? or ?I will trust in him.? (Job 13:15)
It?s easy to trust God when the sun?s shining and birds are singing, but it really glorifies him when we trust him in the dark valley. When Satan shoots his fiery dart and says, ?God has abandoned you. God won?t be faithful to you? it honors God when we say, even if I die, I will continue to hope in him!
Tell others to trust God
A few years ago, a friend of mine was declining with Lou Gehrig?s disease. He?d been a jazz musician but now could play no instrument. But he invited all his fellow musicians to stop by and see him before he died, and he shared the gospel with them, even as he had when he was healthy.
Hope leads to endurance, and endurance glorifies God. In the parable of the sower Jesus said some receive the word with joy, but when things get tough they fall away. Job?s wife said to him, ?Curse God and die. Give up this pipe dream of a God who loves you.? But he said to her,?”You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?? (Job 2:10). Though he could do nothing else, Job glorified God by enduring.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. (James 5:13)
When we pray in our pain we show we believe God to be a God of love and compassion, a God of power who helps his people. Like hope and endurance, prayer is another expression of trust that glorifies God.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Php 4:4.
We don?t rejoice in the evil of our affliction; we rejoice in the Lord. ?Rejoice? doesn?t mean ?feel happy.? It is a conscious decision to praise God despite our feelings. We can rejoice that he saved us and nothing can separate us from his love. We can give thanks that he causes all our pain to produce the character of Christ in us. We can be glad we have an imperishable inheritance and someday Jesus will wipe every tear from our eyes.
Believers who trust God, endure and rejoice in him despite unbelievable pain are true heroes. Maybe you are one of these ?heroes.? You don?t feel like one, but I hope you know how much your faith and perseverance pleases God. You?re doing a lot. And I can?t wait to see your rewards in heaven.