Even In Suffering Praise Him

Generally speaking when we are serving Jesus, especially when we are specifically winning people and extending His Kingdom, we get this idea that everything should go without a hitch in our lives. Why shouldn’t it? We serve the King of the Universe. All powerful, omniscient, almighty. How could we possibly lose? How could anything go wrong?

We know there is an enemy against us, that isn’t a surprise, but it’s almost a cliche to talk about it. We are often surprised when his forces actually start to resist us in a way we can see manifesting, and we start to suffer wounds because of it. The attitude is often, yes, there is an enemy but he doesn’t really do anything.

I won’t build fear or bother given too much recognition to the enemy by any means, he isn’t worth that amount of time. My purpose in writing this is to say that even when the onslaught comes, even when you are in pain, even when things go wrong that shouldn’t, praise Him.

On my recent trip to Thailand we were right in the middle of Hurricaine Otto here in Panama. My first flight was cancelled because of the weather, so I ran to the bus station, and sat for 8 hours on a cross-country bus hoping to make it to my next flight. I was half an hour late, and wouldn’t you know it, even with all the bad weather and all the delays, that one flight was on time. I missed it, and the airline would not work with me at all, so I lost the ticket, plus the hundreds of dollars it cost me.

It seemed like a moment of major defeat. When you lead a ministry and people are donating to these outreaches, it is your responsibility to be good stewards of those finances before God and man. Losing $800 on a lost flight is not something we like to have happen. Praise God though another amazing friend heard about my situation and not only replaced our plane ticket, but added enough to buy another. So God doubled what was taken from us!

These past two weeks have been filled with stories like that. What looked like a sure defeat, or at least a painful blow, ended up turning into a blessing. The enemy sometimes decides to throw a wave of attacks at us when we are moving forward in God, but when we continue forward and make a decision not to be distracted, to move toward what God has called us to do, those attacks quickly turn against him and become a benefit to us, and even energize our faith and teach us patience and righteousness. 

James 1:4 says, “But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”

God allows us to go through things not because He has fallen off the throne or because the enemy is so powerful, but because endurance and patience fully develops us, bringing us to a maturity, lacking nothing.

God’s ultimate plan is always for us to have abundance, to lack nothing, but often times that is impossible to have without enduring something hard.

The next time you are going through something. First of all ask for prayer and council and listen to the Holy Spirit, but remember to endure. Don’t ever give up because times are hard. Keep pushing forward so you can grow, so you can be complete in Him. Remember that we praise Him in hard times because we know it will be alright, and even better afterward. We praise Him as a declaration of faith that He is good and His love endures forever!

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