June 6, 2022
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials, so that the proven character of your faith—more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”—1 Peter 1:6–71
You’re so precious to Me, and when you suffer, I also suffer. I will be very near to you‚ to strengthen and comfort you and surround you with My presence. Come to Me in earnestness at this time; draw close to Me and let Me speak to you. Open your heart to Me‚ and listen to My voice speaking to you as you rest safely in My arms.
Take this time to praise Me for the blessings of protection and health, and most of all for My presence that helps you weather any storm of life you face. Let this time soften your heart for those in need, for those who are weak and afflicted and who need your fervent prayers. Take the time to remember and praise Me for all the good times and for your many blessings. Blessings upon blessings have I showered on you!
Every good and perfect gift comes from My hand. The gift of life, health and strength, supply and protection, your talents and abilities, your ministries and your service—all these are good gifts from Me and are given to each one according to My will for your life. During this time when you are weak and not able to carry on as you normally do, you are reminded of how much you depend on Me to accomplish anything through you. You can more clearly see My goodness and mercy that follows you all the days of your life.2
Times of affliction and sickness can be a time of reflection, a time to assess your life and priorities, a time to pray and seek Me for the future. As you come to Me and commit all your ways to Me, I will speak to your heart and guide you and teach you so that this time of testing and affliction—more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor.3
“For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’”—Isaiah 30:154
Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works in My kingdom have been done from sick beds... Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me.
Quietness and trust enhance your awareness of My Presence with you. Do not despise these simple ways of serving Me. Although you feel cut off from the activity of the world, your quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms. My Strength and Power show themselves most effective in weakness.
Let Me teach you thankfulness. Begin by acknowledging that everything—all your possessions and all that you are—belongs to Me. The dawning of each new day is a gift from Me, not to be taken for granted. The earth is vibrantly alive with My blessings, giving vivid testimony to My Presence. If you slow down your pace of life, you can find Me anywhere.
Some of My most precious children have been laid aside in sick beds or shut away in prisons. Others have voluntarily learned the discipline of spending time alone with Me. The secret of being thankful is learning to see everything from My perspective. My world is your classroom. My Word is a lamp to your feet and a light for your path.5
“It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn Your statutes. Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”—Psalm 119:71–726
There are times when you feel so weak and afflicted that you don’t have the strength to make the effort to seek answers in My Word. But you can always hear My voice in your heart. You can always lift your heart to Me and be comforted by My Word. Even when you can’t find the words to pray, My Spirit will help you, interceding with groanings too deep for words.7
I often use times of affliction in the lives of My children to give them a spiritual tune-up. When you face an affliction, it slows you down. You’re not able to keep going along business as usual. You examine your life and see whether you’re doing those things that please Me most. You take stock of whether you’ve been making your time with Me a priority. You’re reminded to reevaluate your priorities.
Times of affliction can be a time where you can just lie in My arms and rest in My love. Some of the most precious times with Me are experienced in this way.
Affliction helps you to take a step back from your work. Sometimes you have to stop your work completely; other times you just have to slow down. It reminds you that you’re not indispensable. If you’re not able to do as much as normal, it helps you to look at your priorities and remember those things which are truly important.
Afflictions are humbling‚ because they remind you how weak you are. It’s humbling to be cared for‚ and that’s also a valuable experience. It makes you appreciative of those around you who care for you. It gives you a greater appreciation for the good health you normally have, and greater compassion on others who suffer afflictions. It reminds you to pray for others who are struggling or suffering, and each time you pray for yourself, you’re convicted to pray more for others. You realize how important prayer is.
It draws you closer to those around you and helps you depend on the prayers and love of others. You often come out of these times with a better perspective of the way that I see things, and a clearer sense of priorities. All of these things are healthy for your spirit.
Whenever I allow sickness or affliction in your life‚ you can trust that I will work this for good. Look for the blessings, the benefits, and the lessons, so that you can be strengthened in your faith and My purpose will be accomplished.
“After you have suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you his eternal glory. He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever.”—1 Peter 5:108
My dear one‚ this light affliction which is but for a moment is working for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.9 Trust that everything you experience will work together for your good, because of My great love for you. I will use even this time of affliction to bring forth sweetness in your life that will glorify Me.
Don’t be discouraged or worry that I’m displeased with you—the contrary is true! I’m very proud of you. Thank you for being willing to be a vessel of love for Me to pour through. My vessels are weak and faulty in themselves, but with such great love for Me that they’re willing to be placed on the potter’s wheel and be reshaped according to My will.
These momentary afflictions are only for a short while. Soon time will be no more‚ and these weights of the flesh will fall from you. It will be such freedom!
Thank you for being willing to be My tool, useful in My hands and kept close to My heart. Thank you for enduring and for learning the strength of weakness. I know that this lesson is far more valuable to you, and the humility you will gain through this time of weakness is far more important than all that you could be accomplishing now if you were whole.
When you recover, you will be stronger in your dependence on Me. So rejoice even in your times of affliction!
Originally published March 2001, unless otherwise indicated. Adapted and republished June 2022. Read by Simon Peterson. Music by Michael Dooley.
2 Psalm 23:6.
3 1 Peter 1:7.
5 Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Thomas Nelson, 2010).
7 Romans 8:26.
9 2 Corinthians 4:17.