My dear friends, what I would really like you to do is try to put yourselves in my shoes to the same extent that I, when I was with you, put myself in yours. You were very sensitive and kind then. You did not come down on me personally. You were well aware that the reason I ended up preaching to you was that I was physically broken, and so, prevented from continuing my journey. I was forced to stop with you. That is how I came to preach to you. (Galatians 4:12-13 MSG)
Acts 14:19-20 tells us Paul was stoned (in Lystra) the day before he and Barnabas traveled a short distance to Derbe, Galatia. They told the Christians in Galatia: “We must go through many persecutions before we enter the kingdom of God.”
Those who stoned Paul thought he was dead, but his friends prayed over him, and he came alive. I can imagine that Barnabas half-carried Paul’s broken body to Derbe. They couldn’t go any further.
Does God want us to suffer? No. He’s sad when we’re abused. Yet he doesn’t always stop crime, abuse, and hardship because he doesn’t want to control people. He pursues us but wants us to choose to have a relationship with him. He uses our misfortunes to strengthen and prosper us and make himself known.
We recently bought a house on the Suwannee River, and my new best friend in Branford and her six siblings grew up in poverty and abuse in Steinhatchee, Florida. My friend was miserable through childhood and early adulthood, but she asked God to guide her and remove her anger. Through God and hard work, she and her husband live well and share their love, prosperity, and learned lessons with others. She wants to write a memoir to share her experiences.
God will also carry, perfect, and enrich you when you’re suffering if you ask him. Psalm 23 assures that God will accompany and comfort you when you walk through dark valleys. And Isaiah 61:7 promises that when you’re disrespected, you’ll receive a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy instead of shame and dishonor.
Father, I praise you for blessing, comforting, and strengthening me in times of sorrow. Give me the courage to tell others how you’ve saved me. In Jesus name, I pray, amen.
2 thoughts on “SOAP Devotion Galatians 4:12-13 – Does God let us suffer? – Free online Bible study – Commentary in easy English – Day 735”
I don’t believe that God wants us to suffer. So why does God allow us to go through bad experiences? I don’t think there could possibly be a human on Earth that has not gone some through some sort of tragedy or hurtful experience. I believe that God allows us to go through difficult experiences so we learn and grow. After all, happiness would mean nothing if we didn’t have something difficult to compare it to. I am so glad that you have made a friend where you live in your new house! You have something in common with your love of writing. I’m so sorry she had to go through that kind of childhood. It must have been so difficult and terrifying. When I was going through radiation, I put the 23rd Psalm on the dashboard of my car. It reminded me with every drive to the hospital that God was with me and would no abandon me.
Loved your comment. You did a great job of answering your own question. My new friend is an extremely strong person. She has also dealt with the loss of a son. Yet she seems so happy, is the most giving person I have ever met, and has a very strong faith. God never abandons us, even when it seems like he does. He turns what others do to harm us into good.