Romans 5:1-5 states: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”.
These verses are a great comfort when you are suffering with chronic pain ( i.e. chronic pain is recurring pain most days) like many in this congregation suffer in differing ways and intensity. When we have received prayer numerous times, it is possible to lose heart and hope.
Even there the Lord knew our hearts and has provided amazing scriptures to encourage us. We learn from this scripture that even amongst our pain and suffering God will use it to His glory!
I have been amazed by other members of our congregation being able to encourage, care and pray for me during the hard times. But the ones who also have chronic pain in their lives have a shared empathy and understanding.
I believe God wants each and every one of us to minister out of our experiences. Though I would not have chosen this, I accept that I can do God’s work through it!
Romans 15:13 states: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Note that “it is by the power of the Holy Spirit” not by our own strength.