And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. – 1 Kings 20:28
Text: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Hebrews 12:3
Summary: Our present suffering is building our character. Our God of the mountaintop is also Lord of the valley. We should never lose heart no matter how tough our personal circumstances may become.
Some of you may know someone who has cancer. I had cancer. Cancer is a disease that messes up your cells, the small parts of your body that you cannot see because they are so tiny. The doctor took out a cancerous growth called a tumor in my body (in October 1999). Then he gave me drugs to kill the cancer at the smallest level. They call that chemotherapy. That is why my hair fell out. The drugs killed the hair and lots of other cells in my body. It made me sick sometimes and I threw up. It wasn’t very pleasant. The Bible tells me to keep a positive attitude no matter what happens to me.
(Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
It would be very easy to get to feeling sorry for myself when things are bad, but the Bible tells us that even when things are tough that we should never lose heart. We should never give up. Our God is with us when things are going great, when we feel as though we are on top of the mountain. Jesus is with us when things aren’t going so well also. He is Lord of the valley when we feel things couldn’t get any worse. He uses these tough times like holy sandpaper to smooth out our rough edges spiritually. He uses the hard things of life to build our character.
Let’s watch what this sandpaper does to this little wooden block as we rub on the corner of it. As I keep rubbing the pointed corner it gets more rounded. That is how God works on us to get us ready for Heaven. We are not perfect but He wants us to be more and more like Him by the time we get there. That is why we should not get discouraged in the short term, but remember that He is getting us ready for all of eternity.
Jesus was familiar with suffering. (Read Hebrews 12:3) He decided in the garden of Gethsemane that he would do whatever it took to save us. He went to the cross for our sins. He suffered terribly at the hands of the Roman soldiers who scourged him, or beat him unmercifully with a whip. They pushed a crown of thorns into his scalp. Then they nailed him to the cross. Nothing I have endured can compare to what my Lord suffered for me. So I will not lose heart. I will keep in mind these things and know that they are working together for my good.
Let us pray. Dear God, thank you for being with us in the good times and the bad times. Thank you for making us better persons and more able to serve You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
©2000 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
You may read my testimony of my healing from cancer, Healed by Jesus, on this site. My chemotherapy was completed in May 2000.