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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Down But Not Out

By Ken Horn
July 7, 2013

Every year the Pentecostal Evangel brings you this special edition devoted to stories of people who have survived the darkest of tragedies. This year, as always, it is a foray into the realm of Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (NKJV).

This verse in no way indicates every severe trial a believer goes through comes from God’s hand. It doesn’t even indicate every trial is a good thing.

What it does say is this: No matter how tragic your circumstances, God can bring good out of them. God delights in turning the tide. Though scars may remain, they become a guide of sorts, pointing the sufferer to others he or she can help because of his or her own experience.

Going through cancer opened up new vistas of ministry for both my wife, Peggy, and me.

Just three verses later, in Romans 8:31, we find this jewel of victorious Christian living: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” And the message of this chapter, and of all Scripture, confirms God is indeed for us.

Romans 8:28 does not mean we must pretend painful experiences don’t hurt. We can help others the most by being honest about what we went through. And we help ourselves the most by being open with key people about what we are currently going through. Rather, the verse points us to the fact we have the Holy Spirit acting both as a Comforter in the midst of hard times and a facilitator in bringing good out of bad events.

The Psalmist also offers hope:

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken” (Psalm 37:23-25).

Christians may be knocked down by tragedy, but they are never out.

Ken Horn

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