A few years ago a dear man in his seventies picked me up at an airport to take me to a speaking engagement. He looked,”good,” healthy. In previous days I was unwell and in bed due to illness. This dear man had served The Lord for many, many years and had many years of illness and difficult medical treatments. At times he said people, even recently asked him if he was “in the Word” and he was so ill from medical treatments for his illness, he could but hardly think, such was his physical weakness. He felt bad physically, guilty because he was not doing what he was “supposed “ to do. I shared with him how there are what I call, “seasons” in our life when in  “the spring” of health we can read His Word and be in “the Word,” then for some there are seasons, “winter,” seasons when difficulties, pressures come upon us and like this dear man who has been undergoing medical treatments and he found after them, times of great weakness and well meaning people trying to ask if he is “in the Word” when he is so weak, so ill, he is so weary, he is just trying to get through the moment … I shared with him, “the question is not “are you in the Word?’ But that the Word is in you!”

  Over the years he had read, heard God’s Word taught and  the Holy Spirit can bring His Word to his mind in such “seasons” – it is not about “performing for acceptance with God” but in resting in Him and indeed not behaving with such insensitivity like “Job’s friends,” I am sure they meant well but they were adding to this dear mans difficulties not helping him in his hurting time.

What about you?  You may find yourself in such a difficult “season,” don’t fret yourself, don’t allow others to pressure you or allow condemnation to add to your pressures, God loves you. God is not asking you to “perform” but to rest in Him. He is a kind and tender Shepherd who knows your condition well and as your Great High Priest “empathizes” with you. {Read Heb 4:15-16}.

 Providence is God using people, circumstances to meet a need,to His end. This dear man had shared with me about a verse in Romans 5:4-5 concerning “suffering,” he had just read. It just so happened on my own sick bed  the night before I flew out to meet him and go to the conference I was to speak to  I had read the same passage and been meditating on it and studying it – the verses Romans 5:5,8 speaking of “suffering, tribulations ” is the word for “pressures” and in it God desires the suffering one to know He loves them. He does this Subjectively- His love is to be known by the Gift of the Holy Spirit assuring us ” the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”-v5. But at times “doubts” may come to our mind from the evil one ” But God….” Assures us to look objectively to His cross ,”God demonstrated His love  towards us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly.”

Difficulties, pressures, do not negate the love of God and neither do times when like this dear man is too sick to read His Word there is comfort, assurance in the midst of suffering GOD LOVES YOU, and wants you to know it ! And He gives His Spirit to bring His Word back to us in difficult seasons . For this seventy year old plus dear man he found comfort in the fact, it is not,” are  you in the Word but realize the Word is in you” and the Holy Spirit can bring back verses you have read ..even from years earlier, or heard …take comfort and rest in His love and know if there are times, seasons, it is difficult to read… rest in the fact His Word is in you and He can and does bring it to mind in those ” winter seasons” of difficulties ! Hope in God. He loves you! His Word is in you…He can and does bring them to our mind as He pleases in difficult times…  I have known such seasons and this past week I had several days of such difficulties when my mind and body were so weak,”But God…”

The day before I travelled to speak was do greatly encouraged as I read about Romans 5:4-9 and then how kind of The Lord that I met this dear brother and as he drove me from the airport he shared about a verse in Romans  5:4-5 on ” suffering” and I got to share what I had read on those verses … How kind The Lord is orchestrating  our steps our paths, to cross and to share of Him…two brothers who have known “winter seasons” in our lives and yet, here we were meeting… and mutually encouraged by Him through His Word and I pray for those who read this, if you find yourself in a difficult season KNOW- JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU. AND rest in the fact you have chosen in times past to read His Word, hear His Word – HE IS ABLE TO BRING BACK TO YOUR MIND HIS WORD, BECAUSE HIS WORD, YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO PUT IN YOUR MIND AND HEART AT AN EARLIER “SEASON” OF YOUR LIFE.

 God Loves you…His Word is in you- rest in Him… for the time will come when “….we shall behold Him and we shall be like Him”- 1 John 3:1-3  Our “winter seasons,” can be used of Him to help others and future generations…. difficulties come and go, Hide His Word in your heart and store up His Word in your heart and if such a “winter season,” comes to you- KNOW, it is not “are you in the Word but KNOW the Word is in you!”

 Seek to encourage someone today… not to live by a system but resting in the love of the Savior!

PS. – Since I first wrote the above devotional, my dear friend was taken by the LORD Jesus into His presence where He now enjoys he Lord, His pain is gone and one day too… my pain will be gone and I will see the LORD and also will see my friend again. There are no “Winter seasons” there,  only the Sunshine of His face… what a glorious day that will be for…us