The proverbial thorn in the flesh teaches us to slow down and reflect. Adversity’s fires refine us. There are inspirational texts that aid us in excelling through the sufferings of our journey. We find clues to adversity’s value in life:

James 1: 2,3 “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” RSV
1 Peter 1:6,7 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” RSV [Redound: have an effect, consequence, return, recoil.]
John 17:15 Jesus prayed that God keep his followers who are in the world but not spiritually of this world from the evil one. He deliberately did not ask for us to leave this world. Our refinement was not completed.
Ex 32: 34 God sends angels to go ahead of us when we are following God’s lead.
Num 22:22 God stands in our way as an adversary when we start going the wrong way. We need to be sensitive to the leading and guiding of God’s presence. In adversity look to the valuable lessons you may learn from the experience.
Ps 108:6 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. Give victory with your right hand, and answer me, so that those whom you love may be rescued.” NRSV

Psalm 91 has been used for centuries during Sunday office of Compline and daily in the monastic office. It is a strength and comfort in good times and in the bad.

I John 5:19 “We know that we are God’s children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.” NRSV
Eph 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” KJV
Gal 4:3 “…while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world.”
Col 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ…”

Prayer and intercession works at the deepest level of reality and is the most effective form of Christian action:
1. Pray for repentance for spiritual and physical health. Matthew 11:25
2. Pray for healing of memories.
3. Pray for physical healing to God’s glory.
4. Pray for deliverance of individuals, communities and places from the oppression of evil forces. Death is destroyed by death on the cross (the ancient form of capital punishment- crucifixion).

Laying on of hands Num 8:10; 27:18-20; Gen 48:14-20; Mark 10:13-16; Mark 5:23 to convey the Holy Spirit (the soothing healing and wisdom power of God come to us demarked as the Holy Spirit).
Live a life of self-abandonment. Don’t let your heart be troubled or afraid.

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