Elizabeth’s life took a turn for the worst after a visit to her dentist. During a routine procedure, one of the nerves in her jaw had been severely damaged. This caused constant, shooting pain on the right side of her face. For the next six months, Elizabeth tried to find relief from her intense pain. Finally, a doctor told her nothing more could be done to help her. She would have to live with the pain.

Many people who had suffered with Elizabeth’s problem had ended their pain with suicide. Elizabeth was also tempted to end her life. She thought about jumping off a bridge, but then she remembered how Jesus had resisted the devil’s temptation to jump from the temple. She made up her mind, “No, I am not going to jump. I am going to trust God.” God gave her assurance that she would have enough strength to endure one day at a time.

Elizabeth realized that she was not alone in her suffering. There were thousands of women who still had emotional scars from World Wars I and II. She wanted to encourage them. This gave her the idea for a Christian women’s magazine called Lydia. This magazine helps European women find hope and encouragement through faith in Jesus Christ and His Word.

If God had died, Elizabeth would have ended her life in the middle of her life-altering weakness. She would not have fought the pain, but she would have succumbed to it. Bitterness, anger, discouragement, and despair would have kept her from reaching out to others and using her pain to make a positive difference. This is the natural response to weakness without God. Perhaps you have felt this way in your times of weakness.

But God has not died. He is still alive. He still gives people like Elizabeth hope in their weakness. He still encourages us to press on through our circumstances and show compassion toward others in their suffering. He is still perfecting His strength in our weaknesses. He is still in control. Will you trust Him?

 

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder

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