For the last five months I had been plagued with a very debilitating illness. After months of tests I was eventually told I had CFS/ME.
I had been suffering with unexplained neurological pain for the last two years and now I had this as well - talk about hitting you when you're already down.
It is at these times when we cry out to God for help expecting Him to intervene. 'Surely God doesn't want me to be ill -it's not His will for us to suffer'. We pray and pray to God asking Him to heal us, getting more and more frustrated when nothing happens.
When medically there isn't an answer and the heavens seem silent, what should you do?
Isaiah 40:31 tells us that, 'Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength'.
We should trust in the Lord and let our weakness give way to God's strength.
We should call to mind the great love and faithfulness of the Lord; this gives us hope and this hope is not a denial of our suffering; that remains completely real. But by turning our mind to God we place our suffering and ourselves in God's hands. And in God's hands, there is always hope. Strengthened by hope we are prepared to wait expectantly for God to act.
'The Lords will sustain him on his sick-bed and restore him from his bed of sickness' (Psalm 41:3).
As I began to focus on God and hold on to his promises, God brought me to a place of joy and peace. This joy and peace is the spiritual joy and peace given by Christ through the Holy Spirit, not from the world. No amount of trouble and suffering in this world can take away this spiritual joy and peace.
'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit' (Roman 15:13).
Let us try to look beyond our present circumstances - to hold on to hope and know that God is in control.
Remember, how we respond in our suffering really matters to God and sends out a message to the world.
Father, we thank You that we do not have to fear our future when it is in Your hands. Whatever trouble we face, let us hold on to hope and be patient for we know that You are in control. Fill us with your joy and peace.