Preparation through Suffering
Those of you who visit this website often (or used to) may think I fell off the earth because I haven’t posted anything in over a year. The fact is, though, I have been so involved in ministry and dying to self that the rest of my life got put on hold. I am happy to say now that I am back, renewed in the Spirit and with a preparation that came through God’s amazing gift of suffering that has totally changed my life and my husband’s.
While we were going through this terrible trial, we knew that Jesus had lovingly permitted this for our good, but that didn’t stop the terrible pains of the cross that we literally felt in our innermost being. We thank God for our wonderful church whom we could call upon for prayer and for our church prophetess who was able to give us God’s words of encouragement during this suffering. She saw us walking down a pitch-black tunnel with only a voice behind us to guide us but up ahead was what first appeared like a pin-prick of light but then as we approached was seen as golden doors that we would soon walk through. Later, as we stood against the enemy and the trial subsided, we did make it to the doors and walked through together holding hands. Praise God! We have a new life in Christ and new direction in ministry.
One thing we did during this trial was remove our TV from our home. It was one of those flat screen TVs that was mounted on the wall. We plan to put a window in its place which will enable us to look out at some beautiful oak trees beside our home.
Not having TV is fantastic. I hadn’t watched it for years, but my husband, who used to love sports but doesn’t anymore, used to. Now we relate with each other much more, do more things together and we pray together every morning and evening and often during the day too.
We sense that others are now going through a dark tunnel or soon will be as God moves his Body forward into his Kingdom on earth as the fury of the kingdom of darkness is unleashed on this earth. As we read in Acts, “It is through much tribulation that we enter into the Kingdom of God.” It is our desire to help others through these difficult times. We have purchased a little camper that we can live in for a few days parked in a church parking lot or on someone’s property where we could, for very little expense, be available to help people. Our heart goes out to the little churches that are under attack and also to sufferers of abuse and those who help them. We love God’s people and we believe our lifetime of preparation for ministry culminated in the past few months of intense suffering and death to self. We cannot go out in our camper until spring, but at that time we will be ready to go wherever Jesus directs us.
In conclusion I want to include some of the scriptures that we clung to as we went through this trial and perhaps others who are suffering will also find comfort in them:
1 Peter 2, “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that you should follow His steps, ‘Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth,’ who when He was reviled, did not revile in return: when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…”
There was one other passage from Philippians speaking of Christ which says that he, “…made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”