THE SCHOOL OF AFFLICTION

Verse for Today: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Isaiah 30:20 – Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teacher will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see him.

When the Lord gives us something, He gives it to us with a great purpose. He is interested in accomplishing His purpose in and through us. So sometimes, He gives His children bread of adversity to eat and water of affliction to drink as they go along. Sometimes God’s children lament day and night and seem to drink their tears all the time. There are some who are called upon to taste pain, misery, poverty, ridicule, rejection and resentment throughout their lives. They are called to walk on the Calvary Road where their Lord trod in the past. He was the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. He wants His children to follow His path which led Him to the cross. When we follow Christ, the world will be so irritated with our kind of faith and try to persecute us. If we live truly to please the Lord, we will have to sometimes displease the people around. Watching our life of faith with divine principles, the world will try to make our lives difficult. Our Lord allows such lifestyle of sufferings for His children which is a way by which they would be able to follow the lifestyle of their Master. But during such times of persecution and difficulties, they would certainly find the Lord in His glory to strengthen them. Joseph, Daniel, Jeremiah, John the Baptizer, Paul, Peter, James and scores of others have gone through such experiences in the past. The history of the church is filled with the pain that God’s people have endured for their Lord. They ate the bread of adversity and drank the water of affliction all their lives, but were grateful receiving such experiences for their Lord who suffered for them. When they were given the drink of sorrow and pain, they gladly accepted it, like the Lord Jesus, and thanked the Lord for the privilege given to them to follow His life and experiences. But He gives revelations of His glory to them during their adversities to strengthen them and gave them the reassurance that they will receive the martyr’s crowns when they see the Lord in glory.

Dear friend, are you experiencing the bread of adversity and water of affliction in your life lately? Remember, it is a special gift given to you by the Lord out of His special love to you. He knows your willingness to taste it for His sake. The Lord will give you the grace to accept the fact that He has a great purpose to accomplish in and through your life as you walk the path of the cross. Afflictions are often the instruments the Lord uses in the lives of His people to draw them closer to Him and to give them the experience of brokenness in them. Thus afflictions lead to patience, maturity and a willingness to suffer for the Lord. If the Lord Jesus Christ has suffered so much for us, it is only fitting that we respond to His sufferings by our willingness to suffer for Him. All His disciples suffered for Him and the account of their sufferings crowd the columns of church history. We find all the righteous children of God suffering in their walk of faith even during the Old Testament times. Job, Jacob, David, Joseph and the prophets are good illustrations of lives which went through unexplainable sufferings. The apostles considered sufferings as a great privilege given to them by the Lord. It purifies us of our ego, pride and self worth. Sufferings make us trust in the Lord totally in everything. Sufferings increase our dependence on the Lord and make our own abilities worthless. Sufferings increase our faith. But through it all, we experience the presence of God with us to teach us wonderful lessons about Him and His grace to us. Remember, the Lord is never far away from us when we suffer. He is with us and He fills us with Himself and gives us the strength and courage to go through it all and learn lessons to trust Him more day after day.

Psalms 119:50 – This is my comfort in my affliction: that Your Word has revived me.

Thought for Today
The comforts of the Lord insulate us as we go through the fiery furnace of afflictions.

THE SCHOOL OF AFFLICTION!
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