The following quote is written by Arthur Mathews. Mathews was a missionary to China from 1938-1949. He was in China during the Communist takeover and was held under house arrest for four years with his family. During that time, Mathews wrote the following quote which reflects his commitment to the Lord even in the face of difficult circumstances. Mathews chose to view suffering from God’s perspective & stay focused on God’s overall purpose through the pain of suffering.
“We tend to look at the circumstances of life in terms of what they may do to our cherished hopes and convenience, and we shape our decisions and reactions accordingly. When a problem threatens, we rush to God, not to seek his perspective, but to ask him to deflect the trouble. Our self-concern takes priority over whatever it is that God might be trying to do through the trouble….
An escapist generation reads security, prosperity, and physical well-being as evidences of Gods’ blessing. Thus when he puts suffering and affliction into our hands, we misread his signals and misinterpret his intentions.”
Ask yourself: “How do I respond to suffering & pain in this life? Do I seek God’s perspective as I lean upon Him through suffering, or do I seek God simply for the purpose of removing the suffering? Do I run from trials of life or do I see them as means whereby God is drawing me closer to Himself and conforming me to the image of Christ? Have I believed the lie that following Christ will bring earthly security, physical prosperity, and physical health or do I believe what the Bible says when it states that ‘…we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God’ (Acts 14:22)?”
~Pastor Aaron Francis