I had the rare pleasure of watching three different TV messages from Charles Stanley yesterday, and as usual, they were all very good. However, one in particular really had my name and number written all over it! He used Romans 8:28 as the primary scripture reference, which just happens to be my favorite verse, and He provided a new insight that I hadn’t considered before.
First, the message was basically that God sends storms into our lives to accomplish His good purposes. If I remember them correctly, he said they can motivate us to clean up our act, correct our disobedience, get us centered on Him, teach us how to comfort others, bring conviction and lead to change. Of course, that’s being very brief and it’s paraphrased, but I couldn’t find a link to it on the internet. I’d love to see it again, because he said a lot about how we respond to the inevitable storms of life too. Anyway, one of the Bible references he used was 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT), which says:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion
and the God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. I had been trying to find that particular verse, but I didn’t remember that the word it uses is comfort, so I was VERY glad to hear it. I often remind women standing for marriage restoration that the Lord expects us to use our experience to help other women going through the same thing, and that’s one of the verses I had in mind, even though there are others.
Anyway, back to Romans 8:28, which says that God causes ALL things to work together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. Most of us think that just applies to us personally, but Dr. Stanley pointed out how God can also “cause” what we’re going through to work together for the good of “others” who love the Lord too, and who are living according to His word, and it might just be for the comfort we’re able to give others later when they’re going through the same experience. There are just some things no one can understand unless they’ve been through it, so we should use this time in our lives to prepare us to give comfort to other men and women when they need it. That really ties in with one of my other favorites, Revelation 12:11, which says we overcome the devil by the blood of Christ and by the word of our testimony. God gives us the comfort and strength to go through our worst days and then when we see someone else going through the same thing, we can understand their pain and encourage them so they won’t have to go through it alone as many of us have. And we can help them avoid some of the same mistakes we made; and that definitely defeats Satan and stops him dead in his tracks!
For those who have already made it past those days, weeks, months, and maybe even years of feeling totally lost and dysfunctional, and especially those who have already been blessed with restored marriages, please don’t risk losing the power of your testimony by failing to use it for the glory of God and to defeat the works of Satan. And keep your eyes and ears open so you won’t miss the opportunities God will inevitably bring your way, and don’t forget what Luke 12:48 says:
But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much
more will be asked.