During most weeks, I rarely reflect upon the passage I covered in the previous week’s sermon. Once Sunday morning passes, I usually start focusing on my next passage. This week has been different. The Lord has often brought to my memory Paul’s statement in Phil 2:27, “But God had mercy on him [Epaphroditus].” The Lord has been using this small, seemingly insignificant statement to teach me a lesson.
As we learned last week, Epaphroditus experienced a great trial because of visiting Paul. Epaphroditus became so sick that he “nearly died” (Phil 2:30). But God intervened. God healed Epaphroditus. We do not know whether this was a “miraculous” healing. Paul does not specify. Nevertheless, we do know that God showed up, miracle or not.
Like Epaphroditus, the Lord has brought me through trials. While I never became so sick that I nearly died, I still have had trouble. During these trials, God has revealed himself to me in remarkable ways. I do not mean that He has spoken to me or given me a vision. No. What I mean is that He has orchestrated circumstances in extraordinary ways. I remember during one trial I sought God’s guidance pertaining to His will for my life. I was in a tough spot. Very soon after that someone who I had not talked to in months called me. That person’s call was God’s answer to my prayer. Through what this person said, God showed me His will.
When we rely on God during trials, He shows up in incredible ways. Just as He was faithful to Epaphroditus, so also He will be faithful to us. If you are in a difficult spot, realize that the Lord has tremendous purposes for you. Don’t run from your trials. Embrace them. Seek God in them. Whether instantaneously or over time, He will show up in an unbelievable way.