Monday, July 25, 2016

Devotional: Re-framing Our Perspective on Chronic Illness

Galatians 4:13
 ...but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time;

Do you know someone who has a chronic illness and feels discouraged, thinking maybe God doesn't have a place of usefulness for them anymore?  Or maybe you are that person?  I know it's easy to feel like our usefulness for God's kingdom is limited or non-existent when we are dealing with chronic health issues.

Paul, in his letter to the Galatians is writing because they have slipped back into the legalism of the Jewish religion, instead of maintaining their liberty in Christ.  He is reminding them of how it was that he first preached the Gospel to them.  He says it was because of a bodily illness that he first had the opportunity to preach the gospel to them.

We don't know all the circumstances surrounding this occasion, or do we know for sure what Paul's bodily illness was.  We do know he had problems with his eyes.  He says in verse 15 of this chapter,
..."I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me". 

The illness he suffered with and the circumstances surrounding the first time he preached the gospel to these people is not important.  What is important is the fact that God used the Apostle Paul mightily, and He used Paul for His glory BECAUSE of the physical illness he suffered from.

Sometimes we need to re-frame our perspective. Have you ever thought of re-framing your physical illness or disability as the platform that God has given you to be able to share the gospel with others?  You are useful to the kingdom of God!  

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