In a July 2017 service at Destino Cristiano, pastors Randy and Luisina Mishler arrived from San Jose del Cabo with their four beautiful children to minister in La Paz. They are a dream team and greatly encouraged the congregation with the Word and worship. Luisina led our team in worship, teaching the band how to play a song they’ve never played without a track, “This is Amazing Grace.” They stepped up to the challenge and did a great job! Best of all, we got to lift up the name of our Lord together.
Randy shared a great word addressing the question of “how do we respond when affliction comes?” We all can identify with troubles, hard times, conflicts, you name it. Perhaps the reason why there are so many synonyms for ‘problems’ is because we pass through so many! For this same reason, God has a lot to say about the topic. However, what we read in scripture is not, “God will make your problems go away for you right now!” Instead, God teaches us that rather than directly taking away the affliction, He uses the affliction for our good and for His glory. Randy shared with us five blessings that come in these trying times.
The first blessing in affliction is that it draws us closer to God. The psalmist shares how his affliction turned his heart to the Lord, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. (Psalm 119:72)” Second, affliction makes us stronger! Romans 5:3-7 describes how suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, and character, hope. Isaiah 40:31 completes the thought, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” Fourth, affliction helps us put our eyes on Jesus. One of the first things Jesus told Paul about his new life in him, was that he would suffer (Acts 9:16). Not the most encouraging of conversions! But Jesus was the one who caused the scales to fall off Paul’s eyes, and there would be no one else he would set his eyes upon. Through this, Paul learned the secret of going through afflictions was going through them with Christ (Philippians 4:11-13). The fourth and fifth benefits are that affliction prepares us for greater things, and through affliction we bring glory to God. David, for example, first had the trial of defending his sheep from the lion and the bear. His next trial, was defending a whole nation against the undefeated giant Goliath. Talk about a hardship that prepared the way for a greater assignment that gave glory to God!
As a church we are so thankful for the Mishler’s ministry. We are encouraged that we can rejoice in the hardships, knowing that we are growing closer to God, becoming stronger, fixing our eyes on Jesus, being prepared for greater things, and ultimately, living out our purpose of bringing glory to God!