GAL 4:13–14 – But you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.

We see Paul revealing that he was bodily afflicted. Because of this affliction Paul remained at Galatia to father them in the faith. God allowed a bodily affliction to exist in this man of faith for a purpose: God wanted Paul to stay at Galatia, doing His will—the illness was used as a course-changer.

Did the Galatians look down on Paul for having this bodily affliction? Not at all. In fact, Paul commends them. For this bodily affliction was a burden to the Galatian church yet they received him as an angel of God, and as Christ Himself. Some in the body of Christ look spiritually down on others for being sick. They judge them as lacking spiritual growth. This is not what scripture teaches.

You cannot make a method out of any of these biblical examples for your own case, but you can listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to your situation through these biblical examples. As for Paul’s illness, surely he could hear from heaven in prayer, yet his bodily affliction is what spoke in this particular situation. Always remember: God, at times, allows afflicting events to occur in your life for one sole reason: to change your course! And—God is not always obliged to tell you that this is the reason you are being afflicted. You must simply change your course and fulfill the affliction’s purpose. So—as to not be confused—we learn to hear God in our affliction, and at certain times we learn to understand God’s silence in our affliction.

Paul had revelation of the purpose of his affliction, maybe as he suffered it, but maybe later when he penned the Galatian letter. The important thing is that we live and die bearing fruits of righteousness, having an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying regarding our current season of growth. Hear God’s voice in your affliction, and hear God’s silence in your affliction. Then allow the affliction to fulfill God’s design in your life.

An excerpt from “Temple Builders: The High Calling”

John Robert Lucas


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  1. Janet Hester says:

    i have recently started reading Temple Builders – a Higher Calling. even though i have been fed throughout my journey thus far w/the “bread of affliction” when i was physically afflicted in my right arm and hip the Lord has been showing me a couple of things. a few years ago He told me He loved me like He loves Jacob and confirmed this almost immediately with Deut.32:7-15. I see many of spiritual blessings in this. The Lord also had begun teaching me that he takes no pleasure in the leg of a man(our human capabilities). because of the many sufferings, trials and afflictions in a life that’s marked for death(to self)and Life everlasting we can feel like there’s something we’re not doing right or everybody else is “getting” it because they seem to live “blessed” lives with little “upset” and they are telling you to have more practical faith,etc. when you are searching His way to obey the first commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength.The shaking and noise of the turbulance can tempt one to question almost everything. There is a part in the movie Star Wars when a group of fighter pilots is in the throws to destroy the death star. they are surrounded by enemies and fear tries get some of the fighters to abandon the battle,some did pull out;but in the background the commander is saying to those still being faithful to the mission “stay on course,stay on course!”

  2. Pingback: Bible Study: Types of Trials Everybody Experience in Life | The Storms and Trials of Life | Types of Christian Trials | Problems of Life — Blogging About The WORD

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