Isobel Kuhn was a Canadian missionary to China in the early 1900’s. Before her death in 1957, she wrote a book, In the Arena, in which she described every hardship she faced as placing her in an arena. A stadium in which others watched as her suffering placed her in a position to magnify God’s glory and message of salvation.
Only after Malala Yousafzai’s gunshot wound to the head by Taliban who sought to silence her, did she enter the world’s stage, heralding her cause for peace and the freedom of education for all girls.
Only after a diving accident and quadriplegia, did Joni Tada Erickson turn her wheelchair into the pulpit from which she exalted God’s faithfulness and inspire countless people across the continents.
Only after Louie Zamperini survived a plane crash in the Pacific, forty-seven days adrift with little food and water, and months of torture at the hands of Japanese soldiers could Laura Hillenbrand pen his memoir of survival and resilience during World War II in The Unbroken. Only then could Zamperini’s story of suffering, redemption and forgiveness of his captors testify to millions of readers.
These are only a few examples of suffering transformed into triumph. Our suffering can place us in time and place where God can use it to magnify His glory. Where we can witness to His Presence and trust in His love for us. Where we can advance the gospel in our brokenness.
Are you in a season of suffering? God can use that arena to magnify your influence for Him.
And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. (Philippians 1:12, NLT)
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