Trials and Tribulations!

John 16:33

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

I will shortly get back to the Gem series, “Come To Me”. But as hinted from the above photo of a doctor, I want to share with you a few medical problems I have run into lately…which, by the way, has gotten me off track of my publishing schedule.

At age 75 I suppose I should not be surprised with the challenge of some health issues. Here is a brief review of what has been happening lately:

  • I have general osteoarthritis, inherited from my mother (gee, thanks Mom!), affecting hips, knees, back, shoulders, wrists, and a few other body parts.
  • I have had two knee replacements in my right knee (due, I think, to old sports injuries). The first allowed too much lateral movement, so a second one was done four years later.
  • I had surgery on my right knee earlier this year to remove a bone spur from my kneecap. Since then, I have had a lot of pain in that knee.
  • In May I fell hard on a cement floor, and it stirred up a lot more pain in my right knee, shoulders, hips, and so on.
  • I have had two major lumbar surgeries: a laminectomy, and then fusion of the three lower vertebrae about five years later. Since then, the vertebrae just above the fusion has slipped forward almost half an inch.
  • About a week ago, I started coughing up mucus mixed with a small amount of blood. Yes, I was concerned, because I used to smoke (I quit 54 years ago, but was up to three packs a day when I quit!) So lung cancer was in my mind as a possibility. Several doctor appointments later, I was diagnosed with a minor case of pneumonia, and put on antibiotics. I praise God for a good diagnosis! It eases my mind!
  • Today I have a ‘nerve burn’ in my lower back to relieve some of the pain.

Why is all this happening to me? Although we can suffer maladies because of our own wrong choices, I believe there are spiritual implications!

  • A year ago this month, I started a prayer ministry in our church, praying for revival. We desperately need revival…
     ✞ my own life, and that of my family!

     ✞ the church in which my wife and I are 

     ✞ all the churches in our town, county, state, 
         across the county, and around the world!

     ✞ has been slow going!  Only a handful of 
         people are involved, out of a membership of 
         about 350!
  • Satan hates God, and does not want to see the arrival of revival…
     ✞   ...where Christians come alive!

     ✞   ...when outreach is dramatically increased to 
         those who don’t know Jesus as Savior!

     ✞   ...when the ills of America will be healed, ac-
         cording to II Chronicles 7:14:

         If My people who are called by My name will 
         humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, 
         and turn from their wicked ways, then will I 
         hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins 
         and heal their land.

The few who are involved in this prayer ministry have all experienced trials and problems in their family, health, and finances. It is because the devil…puts himself against all authority, lifting himself up over all which is named God or is given worship…” (II Thessalonians 2:4 – Bible in Basic English). But according to what Saint Paul said in II Corinthians 10:3 and 4 (English Standard Version), we have the weapons to fight against Satan and win:

     For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war 
     according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare 
     are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy 
     [Satan’s] strongholds. 

And so, I ask for prayer for this small band of Christians seeking revival! And this includes me! I don’t fear dying because I have eternal life – guaranteed! But I still have a lot of work to do on this side of heaven, including writing Gems so others can be blessed by them!