Monday, August 31, 2020

Blessed but Stressed - Martin Wiles

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair. 2 Corinthians 4:8 KJV
Although our stressors differ, we help each other through our stressful periods through prayer.
How I met my pastor friend in New Delhi, India, I don’t remember. Somewhere, he read a devotion I had written and sent me a message. Leary of answering to begin with, I finally did after investigating the website listed beneath his name. From then on, our friendship was cemented.
I love the periodic messages he sends, mostly prayer requests, but feel bad when I send him mine, which seem to pale in significance. Since Christianity is illegal where he lives, seeing one person come to know Christ is a blessing … but a stressor. He asks me to pray that their faith will remain strong and that they will influence others around them to trust Christ. I know nothing of such persecution.
I ask him to remember our financial situation since my wife can’t work. He sends me a video of Hindu nationalists commandeering missionaries’ Bibles and burning them in the streets. He tells me to pray because India has entered the cold, rainy season, and he is worried about rampant disease. I tell him my wife and I just took the flu shot. He reminds me they have no such luxury.
We are both blessed by God, but face different stressors. The apostle Paul did too. The list of his troubles was lengthy. Troubles haunted him on every side: stoning, shipwreck, lashes, jail, snake bite, false accusations. Yet, he didn’t grow weary in doing well. He may not have understood why God allowed it all, but he pressed on.
God places us in different geographical places and in various life situations, and these come with stressors that differ. Regardless of where we live or what our stressors are, God remains faithfully by our side. None of the things that cause stress reign greater than the God we serve. Each is under His control, and, when responded to correctly, will lead to our faith growing and God being glorified.
Stressors can also enhance our testimony. I’m amazed at how God uses my friend and how my friend takes each stressor in stride and keeps going. When we respond in the same way, others will notice and be drawn to the God we serve.
Let God help you deal with the stressors while you remember how blessed you are.
Prayer: Father, when the stressors come, help us remember You are greater than anything we face.

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