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An Appointment with Affliction (1 Thessalonians 3:1-5)

Introductory Thoughts

On this side of eternity, very few really grasp the purposes or the benefits of suffering affliction. Instead, most Christians place a great premium upon trying to avoid troubles of any kind. It would be much better if every Christian recognized the biblical truth that “man is born unto trouble” (Job 5:7). In fact, the book of Job says that “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). There is simply no way to avoid the afflictions and troubles that life brings. They are an inevitable fact of life. Yet, the source of the troubles does vary considerably from one person to the next. One experiences afflictions because of personal sin, while another faces similar difficulties merely as an attack from the adversary, the Devil. Although the initial cause varies, the end desire is the same: God wants man’s attention (Psalm 55:19).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The Bible is clear that this world is full of troubles (John 16:33; Acts 14:22). We are to accept this fact and not be alarmed when troubles come (1 Peter 4:12). We are to go to the Lord, the only One who can help (Psalm 9:9-10; Psalm 37:39; Psalm 46:1-3; Isaiah 25:4).
  • (For everyone): Read Psalm 55:19. What does the Bible suggest is a result of a mans life when he experiences no change? How then can troubles and afflictions be used to give man a continual fear of God?
  • How do you view troubles and afflictions? Do you allow them to draw you closer to God, or do you turn away from Him?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you to be content in the midst of affliction.
  • Ask God to show you the beauties that accompany troubles.