Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Struggles are About Him

The following is a letter I received as an e-mail subscription from Max Lucado. It was so good, I decided to post it as-is.

If you'd like to sign up for your own e-mails from him and others, go here.

Sept. 28, 2005

My Struggles Are About Him
by Max Lucado

What about your struggles? Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God's glory? Have you "been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Philippians 1:29)?

Here is a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren't matching up? Don't think God is not listening. Indeed he is. He may have higher plans.

Here is another. Are people strengthened by your struggles? A friend of mine can answer yes. His cancer was consuming more than his body; it was eating away at his faith. Unanswered petitions perplexed him. Well-meaning Christians confused him. "If you have faith," they said, "you will be healed."

No healing came. Just more chemo, nausea, and questions. He assumed the fault was a small faith. I suggested another answer. "It's not about you," I told him. "Your hospital room is a showcase for your Maker. Your faith in the face of suffering cranks up the volume of God's song."

Oh, that you could have seen the relief on his face. To know that he hadn't failed God and God hadn't failed him-this made all the difference. Seeing his sickness in the scope of God's sovereign plan gave his condition a sense of dignity. He accepted his cancer as an assignment from heaven: a missionary to the cancer ward.

A week later I saw him again. "I reflected God," he said, smiling through a thin face, "to the nurse, the doctors, my friends. Who knows who needed to see God, but I did my best to make him seen."

Bingo. His cancer paraded the power of Jesus down the Main Street of his world.God will use whatever he wants to display his glory. Heavens and stars. History and nations. People and problems.

Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it. Use it to the glory of God.

Through your problems and mine, may God be seen.

Max Lucado

6 Comments:

At October 01, 2005 9:18 PM, Blogger Donna said...

I never thanked you for visiting my site and leaving a comment, so... thanks! I pray that your ministry be a powerful instrument in bringing people to a better knowledge and relationship with the Lord. Please feel free to stop by my blog any time and comment away! Have a blessed weekend :)

 
At October 10, 2005 9:06 AM, Blogger Susan L. Prince said...

Thanks for posting that.

I often pondering how people without faith make it through such struggles.

Right now, a former co-worker of mine, is in the hospital as a result of an accident 10 days ago. She is paralyzed from the neck down and is not a believer.

I don't understand how people in her predicament can make it without faith.

I am praying for her, as I know many others are, and I have also sent her some materials, because although I would like to see physical healing, it is her spiritual well-being that concerns me most.

 
At October 10, 2005 9:40 AM, Blogger Sue said...

Susan, I will add her to my prayers for her salvation. You're absolutely right about your priorities for her. Her broken body is temporal, and could be the very thing that saves her eternal soul. Thanks for posting your comment and giving us a chance to pray for her.

 
At October 10, 2005 10:56 AM, Blogger Nin said...

Thank you for posting this. I haven't been checking peoples blogs lately, so it's so neat how God's perfect timing was played out in when I would read this. I've been feeling lately that I'm on a road of suffering, and that God wants to use it for His glory. But it's so haaaaarrrrddd! Sometimes I think I'd handle a physical illness better than this!
My husband and I had an encounter with who seems to be the "advesary" of our situation, and I was left feeling so hopeless, and defeated. After I allowed the enemy to run me down even more in my thoughts for a while, I finaly muttered up enough strength to whisper......"I choose faith....."
We went home and watched a testomony we have on dvd, of a wonderful woman from our church, who walked an amazing journey with cancer. She passed away shortly after she shared her testomony. She spoke about how facts are different than truth. She said, " the facts are what you see before you, but the truth is, by His stripes I am healed...."
When it was over, all I could say was, wow, she sure left His mark. We are here on this earth, for one purpose, for His glory! And when we are walking in the faith of that, the enemy is silenced. I want so much to walk this out in Gods way, not mine. I felt so much anger and resentment, even revenge last night. But even if it's only a whisper, a small little mustard seed, I choose faith. Thank you for all that you share, Praise God that His blessing flow everywhere in everything, we just need to choose to recieve them.

 
At October 11, 2005 5:08 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess said...

Great post, Sue! I was blessed beyond measure.

 
At October 11, 2005 5:44 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Isn't he wonderful! I love his stuff. He blesses me every time I read anything by him. I saw him live once with Michael W. Smith. Oh, my gosh! What a night. Glad you all are being blessed, too. Sue

 

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