My Hidden Pain

If I’m being honest, and I always am with you, loved ones, there’s one Bible verse I fail to believe and one I disobey every day.

God tells us that His followers are one body. One body with many members: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” I Corinthians 12:12 (ESV)

I believe that.

But then He says this: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” I Corinthians 12:26 (ESV)

This, I clearly don’t believe, because if I did, my prayer life would look different. If I believed this verse, I would not see prayer for the persecuted church as optional. I would pay attention to the reports coming out of North Korea, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria, China, and other places where Satan has his reign and I would labor in prayer. Their suffering is my suffering whether I accept that or not.

Several friends, diagnosed with cancer, have remarked at the shock they felt at the test results since they didn’t feel sick. How could it be that they felt fine while inside a part of them was dying? It is often simply because they have faith in the word of the doctors and medical technicians that they begin treatment for this disease they cannot see or feel.

Can we trust God’s word as much as we trust our physician? The Great Physician says that if one member suffers, all suffer. That doesn’t mean we feel or see the suffering but in truth, we do suffer.

Does that mean that because Christians in Iraq are under fire or believers in China are imprisoned that my perfect weather Sunday should be disrupted with feelings of concern, prayers of compassion, and spreading the word so others can pray? YES!

The suffering of other believers should disrupt our lives because if they suffer, we suffer. If we believe God’s word as much as we believe cancer doctors, we will take action on behalf of the parts of our body under attack for the sake of the whole.

So, what’s the verse I disobey every day? I fret. Daily, I fret. I fret over evil insurgents. I fret when enemies of God’s word have their way in our courts and in our schools. I fret when cruel tyrants come to power and seek to destroy my brothers and sisters or turn them away from the way of the cross. And, I know I’m not alone. Social media is rife with fretting Christians and we should knock it off, in the name of Jesus.

God is clearly opposed to fretting. He repeats Himself on this thought throughout Psalm 37. So intercede for those who suffer but do not fret over the perpetrators of evil. Read Psalm 37 today and every day this week. Take heart, loved ones, their day will end but ours stretches on forever.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming. The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright; their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.” Psalm 37: 7-15 (ESV)

So join me this week, loved ones. Join me in praying, interceding, laboring in prayer for those who face persecution, suffering, and even death in the name of Jesus. We suffer with them but we will also fight beside them.

But join me, also, in trusting the Lord completely when He says:  “Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. For the Lord loves justice; he will not  forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.” Psalm 37:27-29(ESV)

Let us, together, pray Micah 7:8 as a prayer for those who live in lands of darkness: “Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.”

This is my Father’s world. I will remember this and be glad. Though my body suffers now, one day, this body of Christ will be healed – FOREVER. What say you? Will you join me this week in prayer and in reading Psalm 37 to reduce the sound of Christian fretting in our land?


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1 Comment

    The Conversation

  1. Maxine D says:

    I hear you – and it is something that I have been taking on board more and more recently – I think God has been waking up His saints to intercede.