We just ended the women’s fellowship. It was wonderful. We praised God, we prayed and shared testimonies. Sister D said that she almost died but God saved her. Sister O told everybody how she did spiritual warfare to be pregnant after many years of bareness. Sister T said that God woke her up in the night to put off a stabilizer that could have been on fire and possible burn the house. Then the Word came…
It is more than five months since I fell and broke my leg. I am healed now. Thank God! It is such a pleasure and daily excitement for me to walk freely. You never know the value of something until you lose it. For eight weeks I had to stay in bed with a cast on, not able to walk except with crutches. If ever in the past I was praying for beautiful (smooth, slim, long) legs, I forgot all about that as I lay down with a cast on. My prayers changed! I only wished to have healed and strong legs. Nothing else matters.

There are many lessons I had to learn from this time of affliction. Like I said, it was an evil spirit that ‘pushed’ me to fall on the stairs. It is not my imagination. I felt the darkness pushing me from behind. But once I fell, the darkness ‘ran away’ and the Holy Spirit took over. He embraced me like a mother holds her wounded child. God used especially my husband to comfort and encourage me. Others helped too. But all the glory goes to God for helping me pass thru this fire of affliction and making me a better person.

The following are some of the lessons I personally learned during my affliction. These are based on the Word of God and can be applied to all believers who pass thru pain, suffering, affliction or sickness. These lessons are pieces of gold purified in the furnace. These are life time lessons that will help me to be a better woman of God, wife, mother and grandmother. Sickness has come and sickness has gone. So, what are my gains left behind at the end of this suffering?

Suffering drove me to the Bible! I re-discovered the power and sweetness of the Word of God! I fell in love with my Bible all over again! “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Ps 119:71)
Suffering drove me to prayer. I love prayer now more than before. Prayer works for me. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray” (Jam 5:13)
Suffering helped me to examine my life and to repent of self-sins, especially pride and stubbornness! “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Ps 119:67)
Suffering humbled me, giving God a chance to increase His favor on me. As a pastor I need His anointing and His power. I find these blessings for ministry resting on me now more than ever before. “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2Cor 12:9)
Suffering has supernaturally increased my joy in the Lord. The devil wants me to be sad but I found joy replacing sadness. Suffering has made me more patient with God’s work in me, with myself, with my husband, with my children and with others. Suffering has made me spiritually mature and fruitful. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jam 1:2-4)
Suffering has increased my hope that my future is better than my past or present. My faith that God will not disappoint me is now strong. “We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint” (Rom 5:3-5)
Suffering has enlarged and blessed my ministry. It has become a sermon topic, a source of encouragement to others and a way to glorify God! “Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (Jn 11:3, 4)

Dear Child of God, if you are sick, afflicted, oppressed or rejected… whatever is your problem now, lift up your eyes from yourself and your circumstances and look unto Jesus Christ who understands your pains like no other. Remember! You are sick and poor but you are not alone. Look at the gifts and gains that come to you. These are brought by the pain you now hate. You are in the fire of the furnace. But you shall not end there. You shall come out of that fire like pure gold of eternal value. Men shall envy you! Angels shall rejoice because of you! Be encouraged today! Give thanks to God even now, for your story is not yet over. God is increasing your testimony and ministry. Let Him use any means He wants. You shall rejoice at last. Why not start the praises now?

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