Today's encouragement comes from Isaiah 38:17, wherein we find these lovely words:
"Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back."
This is part of the prayer of King Hezekiah, after God had graciously promis-ed to extend his life. Oftentimes it is only through "great bitterness" that we experience, in this life, the benefits of resurrection living ("delivering my soul from the pit"). It is also the means, often, by which we feelingly recognize the blessings of forgiveness ("You have cast all my sins behind Your back").
Let us not be discouraged, even if we are going through bitter times. Instead, let us look to the advantages that will accrue to us as we (by grace) remain faithful—as we keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
[Puritan quote of the day: "Do we think it too much boldness for such sinners as we to come for pardon? . . . Surely this is a sinful modesty. To be afraid to come to God in prayer is a dishonor to Christ's intercession.” —Thomas Wat-son, in, "A Body of Divinity"]