You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word. Psalm 119:65
God always deals well with His faithful servants. His care is bountiful even though His favor may be hidden from those who watch for external blessings in our lives. I remember hearing Richard Wurmbrand speak. A Romanian pastor, imprisoned for 14 years for his faith, tortured brutally, spoke of the internal springs of love and grace that were birthed in his heart while in prison. His spirit grew rich though his body suffered.
His testimony planted a seed of truth in me as a 15 year old teenager. I realized that oftentimes a person can be externally prosperous while internally poor. The life of the Christian, one called to share in the sufferings of Christ, is often externally oppressed and internally rich. At the end of a saint’s life, glowing testimonies abound as to the gracious ways of God and the power of His indwelling Spirit. The abundant life that flourishes inside the heart and mind of the suffering would shock any unbeliever. They are so accustomed to equating well-being to circumstances.
Even to believers, this can all seem convoluted when we talk about well being. If one serves God, shouldn’t life go smoothly? Shouldn’t there be evidence of external blessing? These expectations are rooted in faulty theology. I should fixate on deliverance from pain more than I should look for ways to glorify God in my pain. I am not advocating pain for the surpassing value of pain’s sake. I am, however, thinking of you and aching for you if you’re suffering greatly and made to feel guilty for it. There are many reasons we suffer and one of them is because Christ told us we would. He warned us that ‘just as the world hated him, it would also hate us and kill us for our faith.’ The subject of God can be discussed safely in most cultures. Talk of Jesus, however, brings peril.
In spite of our cross, our souls can know peace, even joy. God can be trusted; even in dungeons.
In the dark valleys of my life, You have dealt graciously with me. You’re teaching me that I do not need mountaintops to inspire songs of praise. In Jesus name, Amen