As I’ve posted before, I like to start my mornings reading the various Bible apps on my iPhone. I’ve also discussed that I am disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve come across two scriptures that helps me deal with the daily struggle of my disability. I often wonder if I’m being punished or why God isn’t healing me, when I’ve read that others have been healed through their faith. I honestly don’t think too negatively. Even though I deal with daily chronic pain, I have learned to accept my life and situation. The truth is, my symptoms won’t change if I’m negative, so it’s easier for me to be positive.
The following are copied straight from the “John Piper Bible app: Piper Daily Devotional”. I highly recommend downloading it!
Reading for February 4 from Desiring God’s Daily Devotional app, which features the best of over 30 years of John Piper’s teaching to your everyday life and satisfaction in Jesus. Download it for free in the app store.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.(Psalm 119:67)
I have pointed out from Psalm 119:67 and Psalm 119:71 that God sends affliction to help us learn his word.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. . . . It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
I didn’t ask how affliction helps us understand God’s word and keep it. There are innumerable answers, as there are innumerable experiences. But here are five:
1) Affliction takes the glibness of life away and makes us more serious so that our mindset is more in tune with the seriousness of God’s word.
2) Affliction knocks worldly props from under us and forces us to rely more on God, which brings us more in tune with the aim of the word.
3) Affliction makes us search the Scriptures with greater desperation for help, rather than treating it as marginal to life.
4) Affliction brings us into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings so that we fellowship more closely with him and see the world more readily through his eyes.
5) Affliction mortifies deceitful and distracting fleshly desires, and so brings us into a more spiritual frame which fits God’s word more.
I pray that we will not begrudge the pedagogy of God.
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness
– 2 Corinthians 12:9
Someone has said, “God always answers our prayers, either by giving us what we ask for or by giving us something even better.” In Paul’s case, God gave him something even better.
Paul was afflicted with what he described as “a thorn in the flesh” — it was something that caused him constant pain. It was such a deep-felt difficulty that he took it fervently to God in prayer, three times pleading to have his suffering taken away.
The verse above is God’s answer to Paul.
But how was this an answer to prayer? God didn’t remove Paul’s painful burden. In fact, God told Paul that he wouldn’t remove it at all. But God’s answer to Paul’s prayer was even better: my grace is sufficient for thee.
Notice God didn’t say, “My grace is sufficient for this difficulty;” God said “My grace is sufficient for you, Paul.” Paul asked for deliverance from one ordeal, but God guaranteed him grace for every trial, throughout his life.
And, although Paul would still experience much suffering, God reminded him that this simply gave him an even greater opportunity to exalt the name of Christ. My strength, God declared, is even more evident when you are helpless. Therefore, this struggle is an opportunity for you to fulfill your purpose as a Christian, more than you ever could in a pain-free life.
Beloved, rest assured that God’s grace is still sufficient, and that his power is still being manifested through the difficulties you face in your life. What a marvelous answer to prayer this is!
Both of these verses and the attached prayers are so comforting to me. I know that my illness isn’t a negative, rather, it’s God’s way of allowing me to be strong spiritually. I can’t say that I would have such a strong faith if it weren’t for fibro/RA. My disability makes me incredibly strong and faithful. I read somewhere a while back, that I am in holy retirement. What a wonderful way of thinking of my disability. I may no longer work, but being home allows me the time to pray for myself and others. I can reflect on life and build a strong bond with God through prayer.
Thank you God for trusting me to handle my disability. Thank you God for giving me the strength that I never knew I had.