Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Temporary Pain, Eternal Glory.

When we are struck down by our momentary perils we must hold firmly to biblical and foundational truths, for our time of horrendous pain is meant for tremendous gain, attaining for us greater trust in His sovereign workings in our lives. There are countless verses throughout scripture that will comfort us in our time of need. Here are 3 scriptural truths which I have found incredibly beneficial for myself and that I have continually held onto throughout my trials. My hope is that this post will simply encourage and challenge us all. As you persevere through these difficult times, may God keep you and bless you. Amen

"Trials come to prove and improve us." - Augustine

1) This Trial Is Purposeful, And It's Working For Our Good.

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, 
who have been called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28

This is one of the most powerful and weighty verses I preach to myself every morning and evening. When we are walking along the path of obedience, we can rest secure in this unshakeable truth. Knowing that in all of our situations (easy or hard) He is working for our good. Whether it's your mothers cancer, a best friends death, or even your own unexpected and painful hospitalization. None of it is ever meaningless. God is directing all of these things with His divine purpose. This scripture is incredibly comforting and beneficial in any time of distress. If God himself is working on our behalf, then we can trust His sovereign and purposeful plan every step of the way. 

2) Our Pain Is Light And Momentary. 

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

In the midst of our trials it becomes increasingly hard to not lose heart, and to fully trust God. Therefore, we must lean on Christ alone as our everything, and rely on His divine sovereignty. This glorious verse compels me to see that our momentary hardships are not at all worth comparing to the eternal glory which we are promised. Our earthly bodies are going to waste away, but our spirit is being renewed everyday. For we do not know what God is up to in the midst of a painful situation, but we can hold firmly to God's promise of eternal glory in heaven. Now, this is an incredibly hard truth to grasp while we are submerged in the depths of a painful situation. In humility, we must continually seek and ask God for this kind of faith and divine help when we face difficulties. The Holy Spirit will comfort and carry us through any trial. He is willing and able to guide us. 

3) God Is Our Faithful Guide.

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, 
and my hope is in you all day long." - Psalm 25:5

This scripture in Psalms is a short yet powerful text with all-satisfying comfort. If God is our trustworthy guide, our redeeming savior, and our unshakable hope, then we can persevere to the end with Him by our side. Therefore, we are never alone along the pilgrimage of faith, especially in the most painful of times. I find great comfort and security knowing that our God is always there for us, even caring about the smallest of hardship. He is our faithful guide, leading us every step of the way. 

My prayer for us all is that God will continue to reveal the importance of these and other biblical truths. To find comfort in His divine sovereignty, and to be led by His faithfulness and strength. Amen. 
- Jordan Scarbrough

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.

Our lives will often take unexpected turns, and sometimes for the very worst. It is in these difficult yet providential experiences that our faith and trust in God's sovereignty becomes transparent. Giving us a unique opportunity as a believer to grow closer to Him. For our trials are never accidental, they are always purposeful. (Romans 8:28) Even if we don't understand why/how in the midst of our distress, God has a glorifying and eternal plan in the works for us. This is a sorrowful, yet always rejoicing testimony of what I recently have gone through. Also, in an upcoming blog I will be providing 3 scriptural truths which I have held tightly to throughout these trials. This is in all hopes to encourage and challenge my fellow believers. Hold fast to Jesus and His word. For when you do go through these hard times, you are never alone!

"Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." - 2 Corinthians 6:10

The past month has been quite an experience for myself. It all started with waking up saturday morning March 29th in Eugene, Oregon on my first day of spring break from staffing in YWAM Lakeside, Montana. I woke up experiencing abdominal pain that didn't seem normal. The wrenching and pulsating pain lasted two days and by the third day at four in the morning I was brought to the local Hospital to seek help. After the nurses drew my blood they found that my white blood cell count to be half of would it should be. So, they rushed me into getting Magnetic Resonance Imaging (an MRI) to see what was wrong. Upon getting my images back they examined that my appendix had been inflamed and possibly ruptured. Due to urgency, they scheduled an immediate appendectomy operation on me (a pretty common medical procedure). I remember the vivid feeling of laying on a gurney while being wheeled into the operation room. The bright lights, the loud beeping, and even a glimpse of the surgical knives that were about to be used on my behalf. All I could do was pray, continually. I found out quickly that I couldn't pray clearly, or even utter a long and passionate prayer to the Lord, due to the morphine and whatever else they had in my system. So, I repeated these small outburst prayers. "Jesus be with me, keep me safe Lord, this is working for my good, guide me in your truth, this is only temporary, sorrowful yet rejoicing, I'm in your hands, let your will be done." These short yet powerful prayers were ingrained in my mind as I drifted away into my surgery... A shocking twitch later, I remember waking up in the recovery room while coughing up blood into an oxygen mask that stretched over my face. The mask was set on 15 liters per minute of oxygen, and from my prior work in the medical oxygen field I knew that this was a very serious situation. That amount of oxygen flow is often used when a hospice patience is going downhill quickly. I quickly found out that before my surgery my appendix had already bust, and during the operation both my lungs collapsed. The doctors had to perform an emergency intubation. They stretched a breathing tube down my throat (which cut up the inside of it) in order for me to breath properly. The cuts from inside my throat were the cause of the blood that saturated into my lungs, which also explained the bloody mask and painful coughing that I was experiencing. Not the kind of complications I expected. After I was stable enough the nurses were able to bring me to my hospital room. I finally examined the three incisions I had. One of them being a tube that was still inserted a few inches into my abdomen for draining all the fluid that the doctors used to clean the ruptured appendix and bacteria. What a scare that was to wake up to.. haha. The next two days were tremendously hard and painful in my hospital bed as I couldn't get up or walk at all. Very little rest in a place that never sleeps. I also decided to not take any medication after the day of my surgery due to my past drug use, dependance, and the overwhelming sickness it gave me. In doing so it cleared my head for deeper prayer and meditation in the word while in my hospital bed. Continually trusting God to help with the pain and healing process. Which He faithfully did. Finally, I was released Thursday April third, just seventy-two hours of being admitted into the hospital. The day of my release I remember sitting in my hospital room alone. Praying, thinking, and worshipping. The increasing tears begun to rush down my face. Not in anger, frustration, or any sort of physical pain. But rather, a rejoicing moment of gratitude and thankfulness of just being alive. Now of course, to die is gain. But, I realize that God has kept me here for His glory, and that He was not done with me yet. There is much work to do. Currently, I'm recovering very well and back in YWAM Lakeside, Montana. Staffing, studying theology, and discipling students in the Audio Production Course. For by God's grace and through your prayers of encouragement i'm alive and getting stronger everyday. His power is made perfect in my weakness. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I'd like to thank God for the amazing medical care that we have in this country. Most countries have very little if any medical care at all. This was something I sadly never payed attention to before visiting the hospital. We are beyond privileged here. I am also still overwhelmed by the love and support shown from my family and friends from all around the world. The countless hospital visits, prayers, phone calls, emails, letters, messages, etc. Your loving support and prayers have brought tremendous joy to me during these trials.
Thank you! 

Let His faithful words saturate our beating hearts, and let these providintial experiences bring us closer to Him. Every day, for His glory.

- Jordan Scarbrough