I experienced a bit of a setback this past week. Five and a half weeks after my back surgery, some of the pain started to come back. Emotionally discouraged and physically exhausted, my hope was that the pain was temporary and I took a little comfort in knowing that I was not completely healed but the pain should again decrease in the coming weeks as the mending continued.
          Can this happen to us spiritually? Of course it can. The “fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16) will come at us from every direction. Are we going to give in to that temptation from time to time? Yes, sadly, we will. John wrote, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). We will suffer spiritual setbacks. Just as physical pain can discourage us, spiritual weakness can lead to deep disappointment.
          Thank God we have an Advocate, a High Priest who understands temptation and who is on our side! Thank God that He is full of grace and desires our fellowship and has given us an avenue by which we can be restored! “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
          “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). How grand is the grace of God! How tremendous is His mercy!
          This month especially, as we count our blessings and give thanks, may we daily remember His love for us and seek ways to show our love for Him.

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