The Blessing Of Misfortune

by Dody Gibson

Everyone has troubles. Whether they are real, presumed or unclassified, doesn’t really matter. How we approach them is the important thing, not only for ourselves but for the example we set for others.

First we must understand that no one is exempt from problems. Never assume that yours are worse than anyone else’s. Never bargain with the person next to you to switch burdens because theirs are probably heavier than yours and you don’t know what calamities will befall them tomorrow. You could inherit more than you can handle. We’ve all heard the old saying, “I was sad I had no shoes until I saw someone who had no feet.”

Speaking of feet, I’ve had my problems in that area. We know that God won’t give us more than we can handle. Perhaps, I could have been destined to have a heart attack or lung cancer but God said, “No, that would take 20 years from her life. We’ll just give her an inflamed Achilles tendon and severe arthritis instead.” We all know the story of Job’s afflictions and how God limited Satan’s power to harm him. Satan does not have God’s wisdom and he will try every way he can to discourage Christians. Fortunately, God is in control and we won’t be given more than we can handle. This is a Divine promise.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13)

How fortunate we are to have a Father who loves us and oversees our lives.

Sometimes we think we can just pray and God will take away all our trials and remove all pain, give us everything we want and make us happy. Life will never be like that and especially for God’s children. The rich, beautiful and famous seem to have it all and yet live ungodly lives. God loves them too and knows that at the end they will no longer be His so perhaps that is the reason they are blessed so abundantly in this life. On the whole ‘things’ do not make us happy nor can money buy it. The Hollywood celebrities, with physical attractiveness and wealth, are plagued with a long list of problems; family, marriage, drugs, emotional, mental and most of all they live a life without God to help them and all this by choice. Their personal distress sells well as one can see from the tabloids displayed near the checkout counter of your favorite grocery store.

Our prayers should consist of requests for strength to deal with our afflictions and wisdom to access the best treatments, professional help and patience, methods and or medications of which we are fortunate to have available in this country and insurance. We are on this planet to serve our Creator. When we accept hardship and handicaps and still go about our duties to Him and retain faith in tomorrow, we give God the glory. It is a way to honor Him with our life. We are in a spiritual war and when we turn our back on Satan and have faith in God, we have won one of the battles. There will always be more.

I heard a man offer public prayer once who asked that God give him more trials that he would have additional opportunities to glorify Him in this life. Now, I don’t think that I am strong enough to pray for trouble, but it is humbling to think that when it comes to me, I have a chance to honor the great Creator of this entire universe and for some reason this pleases Him. It is a wonderful comfort knowing misfortune has a superior purpose while we deal with life’s wretchedness. It gives us peace of mind through it all.

And, who knows, the example we set will be an encouragement for others who are weaker. And the final answer to our prayers is always more than we deserve and many times not the response we expected but something far better. Praise be to the Lord who watches over the children He loves.

Beyond this life of testing and trials is another where we will live in a place that is untouched by sin and far beyond any concept that we can have with our given mental thought processes. This world and the time we spent here will not even be remembered.

“There is no remembrance of former things, neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.” (Eccl 1:11)

“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former shall not be remembered nor come to mind.” (Isa 65:17)

It will seem that we have always been there and always will for there is no beginning nor end. Time is not accrued in heaven. It began at the creation of the earth and will end with earth’s destruction. Incomprehensible!

Indeed, earth’s trials are trivial by comparison.

I’ve always thought that the few people who lived in that very small place east of the Mediterranean Sea, where Jesus spent the 3 years of His ministry, were the most fortunate that ever lived on this earth. They were able to see Him, hear the words He spoke, observe the miracles, many personally healed by His touch. But actually we have the greater opportunity without seeing any of these mighty works because we can do so by faith.

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

So this is the privilege we have today. To accept the heartache and pain that comes our way and turn it into a blessing. To live a life that others can see by our example and give the encouragement to do the same. The more hardship we overcome, the more we have to share with others. They will see that all life’s woes do have a purpose. Heaven will be worth it all.
Millstadt, IL 62260
August 2002

Dody Gibson See other articles by Dody Gibson