The Galatian church is a sickness turned into a blessing! Who was sick? How could a sickness become a blessing? Look at how God turns this situation into a blessing. Doesn’t it give me hope too, in my situations?
As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you,
and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.
On the contrary, you know that it was because of a physical illness that I [remained and] preached the gospel to you the first time;
Contemporary English Version
when I first preached to you? No you didn’t, even though you knew I had come there because I was sick.
Good News Translation
You remember why I preached the gospel to you the first time; it was because I was sick.
The Galatian church is an important church. The Galatian church was loved by Paul. Paul wrote to the Galatian church a letter that has become the Bible book of Galatians. From the Bible book of Galatians, we learn a lot in a direct way. Galatian 3:28 has that text that condemns tribalism, racism, and discrimination based on gender. That text is very important throughout scripture.
Galatians also teaches us that if you are not saved, not converted, you are driven and inspired by the devil who causes you to do evil things that are listed there, Galatians 5:19-21. The list includes short temper, witchcraft, being divisive, attending parties aka orgies, envy, etc. The only place in the Bible where the fruit of the Holy Spirit is listed is here, Galatians 5:22-23. The fruit of the Spirit is love, patience, kindness, goodness, etc.
In the book of Galatians, we learn the difference between what we can help each other with, Galatians 6:2, and what each one must do for themselves, Galatians 6:5. We also learn that God cannot be mocked and we reap what we sow Galatians 6:7. Then in Galatians, we get a reason why we should be proud of the cross of Jesus, Galatians 6:14.
The book of Galatians also explains the relationship between God’s law and salvation. The topic of God’s law and salvation is handled in the book of Romans and further clarified in detail in Galatians. Without the Galatian church there would be no letter to Galatians. Without the letter to Galatians, can you imagine so many rich things we would have missed in scripture? Yet our text today reveals that the Galatian church began almost accidentally humanly speaking.
Apostle Paul was sick. He went to Galatia to seek medication or to recuperate. It was a sickness that took Paul to live among the Galatians. He did not go to Galatians to preach. He did no go to Galatia to start a church. He went to Galatia because he was sick, weak, and in pain. If the situation had degenerated this is where the sickness would have taken his life. Sickness brought Paul here and even the people there knew it. It must have been a serious sickness that couldn’t be hidden or assumed to be around briefly.
As Paul was on medication and attending to his sickness and being attended to at Galatia, he must have asked himself several questions. Why has God allowed sickness and now I am wasting time instead of preaching. Sickness must have interrupted an important preaching itinerary and Paul must have been wondering why God allowed it to be so. How can God allow such good work to stop and send me among Galatians to just hang around as I wait on recovery?
As Paul slowly recovered, he preached his first sermon among Galatians and that became the origin of that church. In that first sermon, the people were converted and a church began. That sermon has not been forgotten because he must have been frail and struggling. The first powerful sermon that established the Galatian church was because of Paul’s sickness. The Galatian church is a sickness turned into a blessing!
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
God turned the sickness and recovery period into a permanent blessing that is still a blessing to us even today as we read the book of Galatians. If God allows misfortune to come our way, something good will come out of it. Do not be quick to question God and be angry with God. It may not make sense why God allowed this to happen even after you prayed, but if you are patient enough, you will understand why and you will praise God for the blessing disguised as misfortune. The Galatian church is a sickness turned into a blessing!
Has God allowed a job loss? Has God allowed sickness? Has God stopped a serious project and you are now back to the drawing board? Has God allowed a business to collapse? Has God allowed a relationship to end? Has God allowed separation to take place? Has God allowed death to occur? Has God allowed bad grades to be your results from school? What misfortune has God allowed to be in your life? Remember, God allowed Paul to stop preaching and he went to the Galatians to recover and that misfortune became a permanent blessing. Our misfortunes today will also become a blessing soon. The Galatian church is a sickness turned into a blessing!
God has allowed Covid-19 sickness and I believe He is making it a blessing for millions of people in ways we know and in ways we do not know. The closure of churches forcing worship to be at home and online is a blessing we may now see or we see later. Closure of cities, travel, and business. Closure of schools, etc. God will make an immense blessing out of this. May we be among those who will be blessed during this situation of covid-19!
Dear God, I am currently struggling with something that only You knows, turn this misfortune into a permanent blessing, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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