USING EVEN AN ILLNESS                                            Galatians 4:1-14

“you know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first;” (v13)

If there is one lesson I have learned – and it is one that I am most grateful for – it is that God can take what was meant for bad and turn it to good. When God doesn’t heal a sickness, it is because, He can use illness for a purpose that might not easily be seen by us. In today’s reading, Paul reminds the Galatians that it was because of an illness that he first preached the gospel to them. How I wish he had told us more about the circumstances. What kind of illness was it? Was it malaria? Was it an illness that affected his sight? (Some think his reference in verse 15 to the Galatians being willing to give him their eyes gives credence to this idea) How long did this illness last? We do not know, of course, but what we do know is that the illness contributed to him raising up Christians churches there in Galatia, and then writing them a letter that has greatly enriched the ages.

In 1958 I had an illness which almost took my life, but it turned me from one direction in my ministry to another. The lessons I learned from that time prepared me for the writing of Every Day with Jesus. This ministry has become my major contribution to the church and it has enabled me to reach more people than I ever could have done through the preached word.

Though, as we said, we are told little of Paul’s illness, we do know that it was used by God to spread His kingdom. God either heals in answer to prayer or He uses the illness to further His purposes – if we let Him. So either way, we win.

PRAYER LINE: Father, You are always able to advance Your purposes. I am thankful that You can turn everything to good. (EDWJ)

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Faith is seeing God in the dark and in the light.

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