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Suffering in the Flesh (17 of 20)
I Peter 4:1-6
Everybody suffers, sooner or later, today or tomorrow, this year or next year. Suffering comes. Sometimes it soon leaves, but again it hangs on for years, even whole lifetimes. Every servant of the Lord in the Scriptures suffered.
Job suffered in the flesh. He was a perfect and upright man who feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons, three daughters, and great possessions, so he was the greatest in the East. But Satan came against him, and he lost his children, his wealth, and even his health. He was crushed, and his wife said, "Job, it is over. Curse God and die. " That's suffering.
Joseph suffered in the flesh. From the day he was born his brothers hated him. They tossed him in a muddy pit in the wilderness to die, changed their minds, and sold him into slavery in Egypt. Potiphar's wife falsely accused him of sexual abuse. He went to prison. He helped the butcher and the baker, but they forgot him. But God remembered him. Every greatly used servant has suffered in the flesh.
Jonah suffered in the flesh. He was a godly man, a preacher, one of God's prophets. The Lord God told him to go to Nineveh and preach. He started out, but got on the wrong boat, and soon found himself overboard in a storm. He was swallowed by a great fish, and for three days and three nights he resisted the digestive juices and cried out to God to deliver him, which He did.
Don't you see it? Everybody suffers. Sooner or later, today or tomorrow, sometime this year or next year, or some year, we will suffer.
Blessings come in many guises
That God alone in love devises.
And sickness which we dread so much
Can bring a very "healing touch."
For often on the "wings of pain"
The peace we sought before in vain
Will come to us with "sweet surprise"
For God is merciful and wise.
And through long hours of tribulation
God gives us time for meditation,
And no sickness can be counted ...
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