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Daily Devotions – Benefits of Suffering

 

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com

 

Isaiah 38:16-20 (NIV)

16 Lord, by such things people live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live. 17 Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back. 18 For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness. 19 The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness. 20 The Lord will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the temple of the Lord.

 

This passage is from an episode in the life of King Hezekiah, one of the greatest kings of Israel.  But the Biblical authors did not consider him great due to his building projects or military campaigns.  His greatness was due to his faith in God in the midst of great uncertainty, anxiety and fear.  While most of the account about him focuses on how he stood up to the foreign armies seeking to destroy Jerusalem, there was also a time in his life where he was faced with a life-threatening illness.  It was after God cured him of that disease that he prays the words found in Isaiah 38:17 – “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish”.  How can pain, suffering, and hardship actually be beneficial to us?  Hezekiah gave praise and glory to God for healing, but was glad that he suffered because it brought Him closer to God by forcing him to place even greater faith in God’s sovereignty and power to save him.  This Advent, instead of seeking to cover up our pain and acting as if we have everything figured out, let us draw near to God in the midst of our suffering.  Let us seek the joy of His presence with us, the gift of Immanuel, that He promised to us that first Christmas.  Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we draw close to you and ask that in your mercy you might bring healing where there is pain and suffering, health where there is illness, and comfort where there is mourning.  Be our God in the midst of suffering and lead us to the resting place that you have prepared.  Grant us faith to know your will and rest in your love.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

 

Click Here to hear Nathan Shields in song on Isaiah 38

 

Isaiah 38 by Nathan Shields

I walk slowly all of my years
Tears are only evidence of
My love for you shield me not
Scars are but a necessary
Step towards you, I will see
this through
Restore my soul to health and make me new

My love do not be surprised
Sing for you are suffering with Christ
Fear not death, hell is undone
Pain is but a victory, so be happy
Open your eyes and see the

Glory of our God eternally