Today you should read: 2 Kings 5
Why me!!! I am often faced with this question from those whom I have had the privilege to counsel. Many people have endured hardships and suffering and we question why. My wife and I have dealt with two miscarriages over the past year and it can be a difficult not to wonder why we have to endure suffering. In today’s passage I want to draw our attention to two stories of suffering and see what we can glean about God’s grace in the midst of suffering.
The first story I want us to look at is the story of the little Israelite servant girl (v.2-5). Talk about enduring suffering. She had watched as her home was raided by a foreign army from Syria. Can you imagine if that happened to you? What if the Taliban launched a war with the U.S. and successfully took over and stripped you or your children from your home? Not only did she have to go through that torment but she now has to serve in the house of one of captains of the army. If I were in her shoes I would have such distain and hatred for what they did.
Then a sliver of justice was creeping in. Naaman had leprosy which was a death sentence. God was looking out for her right? However, we watch this little girl show compassion to her master and tell him of Elisha. She knew that God worked through this man of God and that God could heal Naaman. Through this little girl we see a picture of James 1:2-4, because her faith through trial was strengthened and she showed true perseverance. She demonstrates a faith that is immovable because it had been tested! She loved Naaman because she loved God and she wanted Naaman to meet her God! How has your faith been tested? How has God showed himself close to you? How has it motivated you to love others for God’s glory?
The second story is the story of Naaman (v.1-19). He was truly desperate to find healing from this life-threatening disease. God was using this disease in Naaman’s life to break his heart and to break his pride. At first Naaman was even prideful in his desperation. He first tried to buy the favor of the prophet and then refused to dip himself in the nasty Jordan River. His servants had to talk sense into him in order to get him to follow the orders of the prophet Elisha. Yet, when God healed Naaman something cool happened: Naaman’s faith was born. He said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel.” Often God has to use trials in our lives to make us desperate and humbled enough to truly see him. Can you relate to Naaman? Are there areas of your life where pride blocks a close relationship with God? Memorize James 4:6 today and relish this promise:
“But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Posted by: Chad Wiles