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  • Writer's pictureKerry Sue Teravskis



The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them but the rebellious stumble in them.  Hosea 14:9  NIV


What is it about suffering?  No one signs up for it, and yet we all know people who experience it, relentlessly, long-term, and at times, excruciatingly.  Is suffering a way of God?


Paul and Silas followed God into the interior regions of Galatia.  They sought the Lord for direction, went where He bid and had great favor with the gospel.  However, there was a point when they were prevented from moving into Asia.  Their desire was to preach in Bithynia but the Holy Spirit prevented them.  They continued on a different route and during this mini preaching tour, Paul had a vision of a Macedonia man begging him and Silas to come to Macedonia:


“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”  Acts 16:10  NKJV


They concluded this vision was the door to go through, the way of God, so they went.  They sailed on, ultimately landing in Philippi where their initial encounter was incredible.  They met women at the river who were having a prayer meeting.  Lydia was the first convert in this Macedonia region.  The gospel was going forth.  This was definitely the will of God.


However, this way led to something extraordinary.  Prison was awaiting them.  Would Paul and Silas have gone if they knew prison time was up ahead?  Knowing what we read about Paul, yes, he still would have chosen this way.  He had suffered much at the hands of men and he knew without a doubt God led him and was with him in all things.


The question is – would we go if we knew prison awaited us?  If we knew suffering was the only way through to the other side?  Or if we knew life would not include comfort, acceptance and celebration?

But here is where we can learn from Paul and Silas, and the Lord as well.  His ways are right.  His open doors are where He wants us to go.  God closes and opens doors –


“I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied my name.”  Revelation 3:8  NKJV (emphasis mine)


God’s ways are not our ways as we are told in Isaiah 55:8.  His ways do indeed lead us through a valley, up a mountain, to the river, in prison, in pain, and possibly suffering.  Is there joy to be had in all this?


Yes.  But we have to chose joy.  Paul and Silas, after being dragged to the marketplace, and beaten with rods, were thrown into a dingy cell.  However, instead of licking their wounds, bemoaning their lot, they praised God.  They sang.  They worshipped God from the place of suffering. 


Would I be cleaning my wounds, crying in agony and letting everyone know the injustice which just occurred?  Probably.  Would I have a worship service from my prison cell?  Maybe after a time, but not immediately.


By walking in the Spirit, and being led by Him, it means dying to self.  I know - that sacrifice God calls us to embrace as taught in Romans 12:2.  It is not an easy one, nor is it one and done.  It is a daily life style choice – one which leads to scars.  Do we let this knowledge keep us from choosing the pain?  The ways of the LORD?  Do we cower or walk boldly forward?


For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7  NKJV


This is how we walk in the ways of the LORD.  With power, love and soundness.  We will not stumble as Hosea tells us.  We will be sure-footed.  Even if the open door leads to the unexpected (on our part) we can be assured it is part of God’s plan and design.  Everything filters through His loving hand.  Including suffering.  Prison.  Pain. 


What we do through the door is up to us.  Do we praise?  Cry?  Complain?  Worship?  Strategize to get out?  Or look for God in every opportunity?  Do we thank Him for closing other doors so the way is made plain?  It is here we know for sure we are on the right path because all other options are closed.  The Light is shining on this path.  Let us chose it every time.


No matter what.


Father, Your ways are sure, righteous and perfect. May I choose them each and every time. Thank You for closing and opening doors and making it clear where You want me to go. Thank You for the Light on my feet and in my path. Thank You for being with me in the circumstances, the joys, trials and suffering. I choose to follow You. In the Name of Jesus. Amen

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