It seems in our world today there is an increase of physical and emotional afflictions that are unprecedented. Diseases that seem to be new, and present known diseases that are manifested in different forms and intensity. World turmoil and fears are generated causing desperate measures in order to deal with the consequences of unknown and unlabeled afflictions worldwide.
Disease epidemics are hard to describe and to defend against. An unknown or mutated disease or insect infestation seems to be found almost daily in some areas of our world. The scope and debilitating affects causes whole areas of the world to panic. How can they escape? Where can they go? How can such events be dealt with - by individuals, governments, and nations?
As Christians, what can we do when all that can be done has been done - at least for the present crisis?
Sicknesses and disease have always been...at times, the awareness or affects of science have reduced the effects and calmed the amount of panic. But, sooner or later, there is a resurgence or an old problem, or a new one appears. For all, there are more than one physical or emotional difficulty.
Even for the Christian, we do not escape many of the problem that the world also suffer. However, as Christians, we should, as God allows, consider such problems and afflictions in a different light.
For the Christian, physical afflictions, if God allows them, are of great value spiritually. This requires a different perspective than the world in general has. This attitude and approach concerning afflictions - of any type - is a gift of God for a Christian if we can have a different perspective and orientation than most of the world of unbelievers:
"And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]." - Romans 5:3-4
This can be very difficult for the Christian unless one is surrendered to the will of Christ. The change that He is performing is difficult because of the unknown outcome. Here, faith must come to the rescue with patience and belief that all that He allows in our lives will result in spiritual growth that will honor us for eternity. When God allows afflictions for us, the human self is suppressed more and more, as be grow more and more the mind of Christ. Tendencies of the nature of the old self is destroyed more and more.
The Apostle Paul had an affliction that greatly tormented him, and he explains the answer given to him by Christ:
"Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My loving kindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength]. - 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Granted, none of us are the Apostle Paul. However, he is informing the Corinthians of a Christ-given principle: the greater the affliction, the greater the power of Jesus Christ through the spirit in us will conquer the fears and doubts about any difficulty in our life as Christians. Paul's principle is, the greater the affliction and weakness, the greater the power of Christ will be in us.
These are hard sayings. However, they will redound unto eternal life, and a greater reward when Jesus returns.
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7
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