Associations for Affliction
Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. (Philippians 4:14)
When we talk about difficulties that Christians in first world countries face today, it is nothing compared to the problems that Paul had during his time in ministry.
The word affliction that Paul used in Philippians 4:14 refers to pressure, persecution, trouble, and tribulation. In Mark 4, the parable of the sower tells us that affliction arises for the Word’s sake. That means that Paul wasn’t doing anything wrong when trouble came; trouble came against him because he was doing what God had told him to do.
Don’t think that just because difficulty arises, it must mean that you are out of God's will. The enemy will often send affliction to persuade you to walk away from God’s path.
Paul explained that during his times of serious affliction, not only did he have the Holy Spirit to give him guidance and strength, but God also connected him in fellowship to the believers in Philippi.
I remember Kenneth Hagin’s son-in-law, Buddy Harrison, used to say some forty years ago, “Fellowship is two fellows in the same ship.” In other words, we are in this together. God connects you with people to help encourage and lift you up during times of affliction.
Sow the seed of support during someone's time of affliction, and you will reap a harvest in your time of need.
Practical Application – Who do you know that is going through a rough time right now? How can you minister to them and sow a seed of fellowship that you can reap when you are going through difficulty?
Mark 4:13, 2 Corinthians 4:17