Some degree of affliction is inevitable for each of us and we shouldn’t waste the experience. The world afflicted by sin which is manifested in disease, heartache, selfishness, injustice, death, etc., and as long as we live on this side of heaven, it will be part of our life. Some have more affliction than others. The life of the apostle Paul was riddled by affliction—and it was ALL while he was doing God’s will. He went on a mission trip and the boat sank and he had to swim for his life. En route to another mission trip, he was robbed and, when he got there and preached–he was beaten and imprisoned. Then on the next trip he was stoned and left for dead. Paul’s afflictions were extraordinarily terrible–I mean can you imagine being stoned? Yet, he said: “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear…For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:12-14, 21) Paul’s boldness and unwavering faith during affliction continued the spiritual revolution which Jesus began at the dawn of the church age. He did not waste his affliction by quitting or feeling sorry for himself—he maximized the experience for God’s glory. The greater challenge, the greater the opportunity to glorify God. When we are growing spiritually, we embrace the challenge! Our lives are worth so much more than living to maintain our comfort. Our calling as the redeemed is more meaningful than the fleeting pleasures of mortality. When we have an eternal perspective, then ANY affliction may be borne with grace. When our eternity is secured, then the afflictions suffered in our mortality are simply another opportunity to create an experience to inspire the redeemed to find boldness and to lead the lost to find eternal security. The afflictions of sickness, poverty, heartache and death are an opportunity to glorify God and to let the whole world see our faith at work. For me to live is Christ! This devotional was written the day of surgery to remove my melanoma.