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'Refined in the Fire'

The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes.

- Psalm 119:71

I would be dishonest if I told you I enjoyed affliction, discomfort, brokenness, physical pain or emotional heartache. I have weathered several of these seasons, and I can tell you that, at the time, I found none of it to be enjoyable. But it was endurable. There is a saying that pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional.

So what is the difference? I believe that suffering is different because it involves resistance to pain and attachment to outcomes (what we thought we had to have or what our life should look like).

In times of affliction, we can resist--or we can accept and allow (without allowing abusive situations to continue, of course). When we cooperate with God and commit to learning every possible lesson that pain can teach us, we are forever changed. Looking back on the experience, we marvel at how far God has carried us and at everything we gained in our perceived loss. God refines us in the fire. Let him.

- Kristin Armstrong
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Asking for prayers for a young girl named Destiny who is currently battling cancer among many other ailments caused by her cancer. She is fighting for her life. Please keep her, her parents and the medical staff caring for her in your prayers.
Marci Wayman | Posted on: 2020-02-17 22:44:04
Maci, prayers sent. May she feel Jesus's comfort today.
tim | Posted on:: 2020-02-17 23:52:16
Ana | Posted on: 2020-02-17 19:28:18
Last year I had two operations. I was discharged from the hospital with a feeding tube in my body and words of discouragement from the medical staff that I might never again be able to eat solid food. God intervened and the tube was removed on December 29 and I am now able to eat normally and resume a normal lifestyle. I can now honestly say that this illness was a blessing from God. It has resulted in my prayer life being immeasurably deepened and I now read and reflect on words from Scripture every day, without fail. I thank our LORD for the spiritual fruit that this illness produced in my life.
Anonymous | Posted on: 2020-02-17 14:24:24
Wonderful devotion Kristin, thank you.

I believe that the command to consider trials "all joy" must truly be a miracle and it must take a strong and special kind of human.

I too would be dishonest if I was to say that I have enjoyed my sufferings, afflictions, brokenness, physical pain or emotional heartaches. But, I have endured them and have continued to and still continue my "Perseverance" in my walk with our Lord, Jesus Christ and I know that He has always been with me every step of my trials. As I look back at my experiences, I can see Jesus's footprints......

May we allow the Lord to carry us and to continue to do the impossible in our lives. Let us rejoice in our sufferings, love our enemies, and generally do things we cannot do. May we live an abundant, joyous life in the Lord. Amen.

May God Bless our Living Faith Family.
Tillie | Posted on: 2020-02-17 12:16:26
Amen. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for today's Gospel. Thank you Lord for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory. Amen
A sinner | Posted on: 2020-02-17 10:28:16
freeter | Posted on: 2020-02-17 09:05:25
I lost my husband and father of my two children at a very young age twenty years ago. And yes, I was afflicted many times over and over. Some of those afflictions were of my own doing and I endured much suffering.

It wasn't until I read that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results was called insanity. Today, looking back I call it my lack of faith in God. He ended up getting me to where I am today but it took me to get out of the way and let God.

Blessings, peace and continued prayers for all in need.
San | Posted on: 2020-02-17 08:48:26
In today's first reading we hear James letting us know that when we face our trials in life, keep perseverance at the forefront of our lives.

Perseverance might be what we are lacking in our faith.

What I mean to say is, when we get knocked down in life use your faith, continue to move forward, persevere, move past these to the other side.

May we continue to share your faith with others, so that more people will come to know him. If we stop, choose not to use our God given gifts "perseverance", then we have failed as his chosen servants.

Dear Jesus I am your servant, please help me to continue to persevere through to the other side.

In Today's Gospel, Jesus shows us that complaining and wanting proof is not showing him that we have true faith.

Faith is believing in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Do not be left behind, believe, be saved.

Praying for our Living Faith Family today and everyday. May all of you and your families feel his loving, forgiving, comfort embrace today. May all of our prayer requests be heard.

Thinking of all of you today from Israel. This morning we woke up early, we have walked the stations of the cross, gone to mass at the foot of the cross and visited the tomb of Jesus and where they prepared and laid our Savior Jesus Christs body.

Our faith has shined today, he is risen he was not at the tomb. He has gone ahead of all of us to prepare a place for us to see him again in paradise.

Blessed are we who believe and do not let life's trials stop us.

Tim | Posted on: 2020-02-17 04:06:30
JJC | Posted on:: 2020-02-17 06:31:48
Pain and affliction most certainly draws our attention to God. This is where we find solace and relief. A God who knows and understands affliction, gives us hope for better times ahead.
All we can do is to believe and to trust Him at His words. He gives us no burdens and leave us to handle on our own. Our God is awesome,he carries us through. Prayers and blessings Living Faith family.
JJC | Posted on:: 2020-02-17 06:53:53
Good morning Tim, I was surprised to find a comment when I read the devotional this morning. Then I realised you are 2 hours ahead in Israel whereas US east coast is normally 5 hours behind Ireland. I hope your trip is going well.
In the early 90's I prayed in desperation but also in faith and trust for help in dealing with the confusion in my life. From that day forward my faith journey strengthened. In the late nineties my "demons" came out and I was hospitalised with depression and remained on medication for a period after. The details are not important and todays devotional is a mirror of my story and says it all. Thank you Kristen.
Looking back I can see my prayer in the early 90's was answered and from that time on I was being strengthened for what was to come. Even in my hospital bed I knew with Gods help I would get through. It was a difficult time but looking back I know it was necessary for my healing. I have not had a depressive episode for many years, I am not on medication, and I volunteer in charities to support people going through difficult times but I don't act without placing a situation before the Lord and waiting for His direction.
My life is better now than ever. I pray that everyone makes the commitment to trust the Lord.
Patrick | Posted on:: 2020-02-17 07:00:50
Carol | Posted on:: 2020-02-17 07:42:51
Thank you Patrick for your powerful sharing. I too have experienced several periods in my life when demons of fear and depression attacked me. Through those challenges I have grown in my faith and my Trust in God. They were extremely difficult times but our Loving Lord and my family carried me through. My heart and soul learned that Jesus truly loves and cares for me and all of us. And He works through me to touch others. All Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus.
Bernie | Posted on:: 2020-02-17 08:23:43
Great to hear from you, Tim. Looking forward to hearing about your journey.
San | Posted on:: 2020-02-17 08:49:50
Tim, good to hear from you. Thank you for your wonderful devotion. Safe travels.
Tillie | Posted on:: 2020-02-17 12:19:14
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