I spent four days in the hospital with my husband as he was treated for kidney stones’ complications. I’ve never had kidney stones but had heard it was a terrible experience to go through; much like child-birth pains. After watching my husband suffer through this, I pray I NEVER have to experience that, ever!
The benefits of standing by your partner while he suffers are many. As I was not able to go home for the duration of his stay at the hospital and our family is far away, I’ve had the delight of being able to physically be by my husband’s side 24/7. Let me tell you, when your partner travels frequently and you seldom get to spend a lot of time together, you treasure every moment. Aside from the sickness and the fact that we were in a hospital room, this has been a great experience for us both. I’ve so enjoyed caring for my husband, praying for and with him, feeding him and just talking about anything and everything.
Our last day at the hospital was on a Sunday and as we waited for his doctor to ok his release, we began to feel anxious. We are not used to miss worship with our brothers and sisters on Sundays, and so that sunday felt off and a bit strange for us. I was so bummed out, I started looking for church services online or on TV. Brian, turned off the TV, had me sit in the chair across from his bed and he shared a sermon he had written some time ago. It was entitled, Benefiting from Adversity.
I sat there and listen to the entire sermon and it ministered to me so. I never thought my ailing husband would be the guest speaker in our simple church service for two, but either way, God was glorified! It was such a good and timely word, I thought I’d share some of the highlights from his message with you in hopes it will encourage you as it has encouraged me (keep in mind this is not the whole sermon, just highlights);
Often times, bad things happen to good people. Since the fall of Adam, pain and suffering have been in the world. Being a Christian does not exempt one from adversity, rather it allows us to draw upon a new source of strength. God has promised to uphold his children with his hand.
- The Christian is not exempt from suffering: The Apostle Paul who was no stranger to adversity made it clear through all of his writings that sufferings and adversities would be a normal part of a Christian life. check out: Phil. 1:27-29, II Tim. 3:10-12. Part of man’s problem is that he faces adversity for the perspective of uncontrollable circumstances rather than looking at it with the perspective of choice. The truth is no one has control of what happens to them.
- How then should we face adversity? James1:2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
The Purpose of Suffering
- Our adversities and afflictions help us learn valuable lessons. Psalm 119:67
- Our adversities and afflictions allow us to comfort others. II Cor. 1: 3- 7
- Our adversities and afflictions will be used to glorify God. Phil. 1:12
How Do We Survive Our Adversities
- Understand the source of our strength. Heb. 11:27, I Thes. 1:3
- Understand the necessity. James 1:2-4
- Understand the temporary nature of the wilderness. Ps. 30:5
So, the bottom line is this: when we’ve done what we can humanly do with each adversity that comes our way, all that is left is for us to embrace the pain and trust that God holds us and see us through it. Regardless of the outcome, we’ve been cared for and loved through it all.