7/1/14

Pain Minus Hindrances

I am currently going through Beth Moore's "Children of the Day" devotional.

One of the most powerful days (for me) from this past week was when Beth talked about "hindrances." 

I Thessalonians 2:18

Therefore we wanted to come to you - even I, Paul, time and again - but Satan hindered us.

She first pointed out that Paul had a lot of "hindrances" in his life:

Stripes, prison, near-death beatings, weariness, sleeplessness (the list goes on and on in 2 Cor. 11:23-28).

Another person I thought of was Hudson Taylor.  I am reading (again) the book "Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret."  The life of this pioneer missionary is so inspiring!  It was not his faith that made him strong, it was his God - who happens to be the same God we have!

Both men faced extreme persecution...but Beth said this: "Paul (and Hudson Taylor) wasn't hindered by his hindrances."  She pointed out that in I Thessalonians 2:14-20 both Satan and other people were successful in hindering Paul, but that didn't stop him!  Paul did not let those hardships hinder his work.  Paul was "addicted" to spreading the Gospel.  He did not see those things as reason for him to give up.

I have become addicted to this adoption.  Although we've had a few "hindrances" - we have never even entertained the thought of giving up.  We are committed to this. Can I say that about everything in my life?  Am I addicted to living holy, that any sin that creeps in, I strive to kill it?  Am I addicted to resting in God, that every worrisome thought that comes I quickly dismiss in faith?  Am I addicted to parenting my children, that I am consistant?

What if we saw those hard things in our life: pain, disappointment, afflictions - all in a new light?  What if we cared about pursuing a God-exalting life so much, that any trial that comes only brings God more glory?

Here are a few "math" examples that Beth shared:

Heartbreak - (minus) hindrance = (equals) depth

Breakup - hindrance = breakthrough

Childhood trauma - hindrance = testimony

Singleness - hindrance = a gospel globetrotter

Childlessness - hindrance = mother of many (Isa. 54:1-2)

Disappointment - hindrance = faith

Injustice - hindrance = room for God's wrath

Handicap - hindrance = hero

My pain - hindrance = my passion

What happened - what hindered = an overcomer

I came up with these as well:

Cancer - hindrance = victory/testimony

Closed door - hindrance = better open door

No - hindrance = better yes

Sometimes we see nothing good coming from pain, disappointment, injustice, childlessness, trauma, breakup, and heartbreak. Yet, Romans 8 is still true!

She closed with this:
"Some things ache for years while God slowly mends us and shapes us into the image of His Son...Just a little bit of faith could change everything."