Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't Waste Your Illness

A sickbed often teaches more than a sermon” (Thomas Watson)
A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted” (Warren Wiersbe)

While illness is a hardship every person wishes to avoid, it comes sooner or later upon us all. The Bible teaches that suffering is not to be wasted. “What circumstances could have rendered the Word of God sweeter and the presence of God so real, the help of God so precious?” asked Hudson Taylor about a difficult period in his life.

Several Scriptures point to special blessings that can come from periods of illness, including:

Awaken to us the sweetness of Scripture (Psalms 119:50, 71, 92, 143)
Driving us to prayer (Isaiah 38:1-2)
Deepening the prayer lives of others (James 5:13-15)
Leading us to spiritual introspection (Psalms 119:67)
Humbling our souls (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Developing the qualities of patience and endurance in us (James 1:2-4)
Developing maturity (Romans 5:1-5; Isaiah 48:10, Hebrews 2:10)
Enabling us to empathize and comfort others
who will later go through the same thing (2 Corinthians 1:3)
Heightening our desire for heaven (Job 19:25-29; Romans 8:18)
Providing an opportunity for us to witness to others (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Glorifying God (John 11:4; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
[from Robert J. Morgan, Preacher’s Sourcebook of Creative Sermon Illustrations (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 741.]

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