Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. – James 5:13
The word affliction and suffering are from the same root word which means to suffer hardship. James wrote to the early church on how to deal with it. For three and half years of His ministry on earth, Jesus brought an end to pain and sufferings in the lives of those He encountered. He declares in John 6:46 that “No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.” (NLT). We see the heart of God the Father through the actions of Christ. He heals beacuse God wants to heal, He saves because God wants to save, He helps because God wants to help.
Never try to explain your sufferings as the will of God because you don’t understand it. Imagine if it’s not His will and you say it is, you make yourself a liar. One of the six things the LORD hates is a lying tongue. (Proverbs 6:17) Seek to know His will before you declare it as His will.
Never try to explain your sufferings as the will of God because you don’t understand it
James tells us that if we ever find ourselves in a place of hard sufferings, the way forward is through prayer. Prayer brings God into our afflictions so that His name can be glorified. Contrary to what you might expect, when you pray, God can decide to help you through it rather than take it away but what we must do is to pray.
Prayer brings God into our afflictions so that His name can be glorified.
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly.
2 And he said:
“I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction,
And He answered me.
“Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.
Let’s take a look at Jonah who prayed in the midst of his affliction, deep down in the fish’s belly. This is not a cosy and pleasant place of prayer you and I know, yet he prayed and God answered him because of his affliction. It suggests that God takes no pleasure in the affliction of His children.
We must understand that if God should arise for us, we also should be ready to call on Him from wherever we are no matter how difficult or dark the place may be. The LORD is interested in His children coming to Him in prayer more than what we can get from Him. He desires fellowship. It is often said that God allows affliction so that the saints can return to Him in prayer. This is true because James tells us that when we are afflicted, we can go to God.
It is often said that God allows affliction so that the saints can return to Him in prayer.
There are many more reasons why we should pray but today our focus is on affliction. If it will bring us back to our knees where we cry unto God; the only who can save us, then in that sense affliction is for our own benefit. Remember that all things work together for good to those who love God.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose. - Roman 8:28
Is life so difficult for you at the moment and don't know why? Pray.
Are you going through so much and you can't even see a way out? Pray.
Are you afflicted in your body with unbearable pain and need God to heal you? Pray and keep on praying. God bless you.