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Bi-polar. Sex addiction. Jailed. But my life was in God’s control.
Read This: “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.” (James 1: 2-5)
Think: Sometimes we look around and think everyone else has it all together. Some are better looking, come from better families, make more money, or don’t ever seem to face hardships. While it’s true that some have to deal with more pain and obstacles in life than others, everyone has a story. Suffering is a consequence of the fallen world we live in and no one gets a free pass. But we don’t have to be defined by our suffering; instead we can allow God to turn it into something beautiful.
Looking back through the Bible at our spiritual legacy is a reminder of the many men and women who glorified God through their suffering. One familiar story comes to mind—Job, a man who was targeted by Satan because of his righteousness. He lost all his children and his wealth in one day and eventually his health as well. No one had words to comfort him and his wife employed him to curse God. But instead he responded, “Should we receive what is good from God, and not also receive what is evil?” (Job 2:10). While he grieved and mourned his circumstances, he did not sin. Everyone thought he had been abandoned by God, but Job remained faithful. At the end of the book we learn that God restored to Job double what he lost. At the time Job didn’t know God would do that for him, he was faithful simply because he loved the Lord.