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Negative Turned Into Positive 

A Letter: Negative Turned Into Positive

Dear Brother/Sister in Christ,

            Peace be unto you.

            I am indeed very grateful for your prayer for my health. By the grace of God and through your prayers I feel myself much better and trust in the Lord that he will bring me out of this ditch in his due time according to his divine and perfect will…. That His name may be glorified and honored,HIS WILL BE DONE.

            I have written some of my reflections while I was resting and examining the many spiritual blessings which the Lord has bestowed upon me and my family. These I now share with you.

Negative Turned Into Positive.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 NIV Study Bible)

Health is Wealth. Sometimes we do not take care of our health. When we really get sick then we begin to learn how precious our health is. When I was sick in these past days, different negative thoughts came to my mind as a human being. There were some positive things which struck my mind too. Maybe you will be passing through such circumstances as well. Perhaps you are experiencing the loss of health, the loss of property, the loss of love ones, or an accident, etc, etc.

When I looked at the negative situation I felt discouraged, frustrated, and sometimes very lonely. Sickness easily shakes one's faith. As human beings we are not stable. We can do nothing. We are handicapped and crippled. We are dependent. The whole picture looks dark and sad. Now this is the time to put our theology into practice. We do read the Word of God daily but when it comes to putting it into practice, we fail terribly.

At the same time there were some positive developments, and this perspective helps us to trust God. Our life is brief. The boundaries of our life are set by God. We must accept his divine will. His will is the best for us. Death is more real. It helps us to trust God fully. Heaven looks more close and real. We have to practice what we preach. It helps us to prepare for our eternal home. We can do everything in Christ who strengthens us.

We used to comfort others from the Word of God in times of sorrow. When we ourselves experience such circumstances, how do we react and respond? Death is the gateway to enter into his glory.

There are three main lessons which I can draw from those negative and positive moments.

1.      IT IS A TIME OF CONFESSION.

When a person is sick and he can do nothing; his back is on the floor and his face is toward heaven—then it is a time to pray. It is a time to ask; a time to repent; a time to confess; a time to cry. When we are busy in worldly affairs or even busy in the ministry, we do not take time to talk to God. We don’t have time to spend with the Master. We serve Him but we do not sit at His feet. We do not listen to His voice. Then God in his sovereignty allows such circumstances which we don't want to go through, although these adverse circumstances are filtered through His loving and kind hands. However, through these afflictions He brings us to a point where we can confess; our sins, infirmities, wrong-doings.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (I John 1:7).

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (I John 1:8).

 If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).

2.      IT IS A TIME OF CONTRITION.

It is a time of  brokenness. God allows these situations to break us. He breaks our ego, our plans, and our strengths. Without brokenness we cannot be blessed. If there is no bleeding, then there is no blessing.

The sacrifices of God are broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, oh God you will not despise (Psalm 51:17).

God loves a broken individual, a broken heart, a broken spirit. He breaks us through trials and tests, so that he can mold us according to his choice, will, and purpose. The process of brokenness is very hard and difficult. We want to be blessed but we don't want to go through the process of brokenness.

The farmer breaks the breast of the soil; after that he gets colorful flowers and fruits. We cannot get minerals, silver and gold from the ground unless it is broken and dug deep.

Hannah was a broken lady, she prayed to God to be blessed with a son. She was barren, a fruitless tree. God was using this situation to bring her closer to Himself through this procedure and process of brokenness. We read her story in 1 Samuel, Chapter 1.

Gideon and his soldiers blew the trumpets, broke the pitchers, and the light came out and God granted them victory over their enemies (Judges 7:20).

The alabaster box was broken and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume (John 12:3), the sweet aroma could not be felt and smelled by others until the jar was broken.

The five loaves were broken, five thousand were fed. If these loaves had not been broken, they would have fed only the boy. But when these loaves were given to the Lord they came to His loving and caring hands, He touched them, blessed them and broke them. A great multitude was fed. Some time we pray and want that others should be fed by us and be blessed through our ministry, but we do not want to be broken.

So brokenness plays a very vital role in the spiritual growth of a believer and servant of God. We must be willing, when Lord takes us in his hands and breaks us, so that we may be used more abundantly for the glory and honor of the Master.

 

3.      IT IS A TIME OF COMMITMENT.

God gives us time to reflect, to sit quietly, to reevaluate and recommit ourselves, our lives and our ministries. To reevaluate is like a car which cannot make a sharp turn by driving straight ahead. The driver must move forward a little then use his steering wheel carefully to move backward and forward thus making his way through the turn. He has to recheck his way, whether the car can actually fit through this passage or not. He makes different moves, forward, backward, forward, backward, then a point comes where the driver is confident that he can successfully go through this passage. It was impossible with the first attempt to drive straight ahead.

This is the time of self examination. We see all things around us. It is a blessing to sit peacefully and contemplate what we have done in the past.

We all have some stories of failure which we hide. We don't want to share them with others. But God knows everything. He is an omniscient God; He knows our past, present and future. He sees our future as well as he sees our past. He lives in eternity; He can see our past, present and future at a glance.  

At the same time we all have many success stories to tell from the past and we are proud of them. We thank God for all the success which He has given each one of us in the past.

Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58b).

We must give ourselves fully to do the work of ministry. Someone said, “These days people die for the wrong cause. They die and at the same time kill so many other people. Why not die for a just and right cause and save many people from the eternal fire of hell?”

Your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Therefore, sickness allows us to recommit our lives for the right cause. Whatever we do for the Lord it is not in vain. It is useful. It is profitable. In due course it will certainly bear forth fruit. We have to move forward, with zeal and with enthusiasm.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, "Here am I.  Send me! (Isaiah 6:8)

God wants to send us… send you and me. Sometimes we are hesitant. Sometimes we are deaf.  Sometimes we listen but do not react. Here I am. Send me Oh Lord. There are so many people who need to hear the life-saving message of our Savior, who need to be saved. Who will go to them? You can go. You can pray. You can send. You can be involved in the ministry in a practical way by encouraging others.

I thanked God for this sickness, and I asked this question to myself: What did I learn during these days of sickness? 

Different negative thoughts came to my mind in my human weakness, at the same time there were positive things which struck my mind too. There were also some positive developments. The Lord allowed this sickness on my body and through this sickness He granted me:

A time for Confession,

A time for Contrition and,

A time for Commitment.

Brother/Sister in Christ, thank you very much for your prayers on my behalf during these days; may the Lord bless you and make His face shine upon you.

Thank you very much for taking time to read this reflection.

Shalom. 

Yours under His Sovereignty,

Samuel Gill

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