And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 1 Thessalonians 1:6
This day dear believer, it may be, that you may find yourself in unexpected affliction. But what is the light weight of affliction compared to the manifold grace of God? It is in affliction that we see our greatest need: the need to stay connected to the Savior. In our troubles we turn unto the Lord. It is in need that we become submissive to spiritual authority and to God. The Psalms say it is good that we have been afflicted, for now we will keep thy word. Even our great Savior has enlightened us that sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. There is just enough trouble to keep you close to God. Why is that dear believer? It is imperative that you abide in Christ! If we could stray from God and succeed we assurely would. God has loftier plans for His children than to allow them to run in their own strength. His desire is that through you would flow all the spiritual blessings of heaven, and that be your lot, while you are abiding in Christ. The branch must be connected to the vine to receive life, and so you must be connected to Christ to receive joy. Affliction is the plow that turns the hardened soil of the heart to receive the seed of the word with readiness of mind. When that word is received with the power of the Holy Spirit from abiding in Christ, the fruit of joy blooms and that is our reward. Joy does not eradicate troubles, but it certainly gives strength beyond measure to go through them. Happy are all they that are afflicted and turn to Christ, for in Him dwells all the fullness of God bodily.