In the book ?Deliver Us From Evil?, Ravi Zachariahs writes:
Joseph Damien was a nineteenth-century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Moloka?i, Hawai?i. Those suffering grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them.
One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water inot a cup when the water swirled out and fell onto his bare foot. It took him a moment to realize that he had not felt any sensatoion. Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot. No feeling whatsoever.
Damien immediately knew what had happened. As he walked tearfully to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the diffence in his opening line. He normally began every sermon with, ?My fellow believers.? But this morning he began with, ?My fellow lepers.?
I most certainly do not know for sure, but it would not surprise me if Damien thought of Jeremiah 16:19?s description of God on this day. In that scripture, the prophet called upon God as, ??my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction??
Yes, even as dedicated and sacrificial believers, affliction is bound to come our way. It is in those times where we must not lean on our own strength, because sooner or later, it will fail us. We must turn to God as our strength, our stronghold and our refuge.
God says in Joshua 1:5 (NIV) “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So, in the day of your affliction, be strengthened. Be encouraged. Know that you are not alone. You have His promise. He is with you.
Paul said in Romans, ?If God is for us, who can be against us?? Indeed. Affliction may come, but it cannot defeat us.
God is ??my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction??