----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2017 7:41 AM
Subject: the other side of difficulty
When you are in the midst of a great trial it is hard to see any benefit or positive aspect to that experience. We have a close friend who is recovering from major heart surgery that came about suddenly. He was under heavy sedation because of complications for weeks and now is trying to understand just what happened to him as he emerges from the fog of medication to understand what has taken place with his body.
The apostle Paul went through all kinds of traumatic experiences as he traveled from town to town sharing the Gospel. As he writes the letter to the Philippians he finds himself in prison! In fact he wrote several letters that are recorded in the New Testament from prison. Apparently they thought they'd take him "out of the game" when they put him in chains but just the opposite took place. He shared the Gospel with the guards who worked in the prison and they responded. His absence from the preaching circuit motivated others to take his place and continue the work. And countless people have benefitted from the words of these epistles through the centuries since.
Paul put it this way (Philippians 1:12 "I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.")
When we can't control our circumstances but our intention is to honor the one who does, He sovereignly directs the outcome to glorify Himself.
Psalm 199:165 puts it this way: "Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble".
Faith over fear leads to trust over trial.