Chapter 7: Be Patient in Affliction

Be Patient in Affliction

During my initial writing of this chapter, I received sad information early on a Saturday morning.

A friend had passed away during the night.

My initial thought was the one-word question we often ask, wanting an answer, “How?” I followed that with the four-word question we never get an answer for, “Why did this happen?”

I walked outside, thinking of James Graham. I remembered our times together. I looked at our pictures, read our texts and messages and email, listened to his voice. This text kept my attention as James had responded to me asking, “How can I pray for you?”

James said, “Thanks. Pray for my health to continue to strengthen and the wisdom for me to know when to hand off. I want to be a blessing to the kingdom as long as I can. Loving Jesus and growing his leaders. Thanks for asking.”

Another time he responded to my same question with these words: “Hey, Chris. Thanks for asking about prayer needs. Pray with me about my next season of life. Change is coming.”

Change did come.
But not the change I expected.
Life is packed with affliction, disappointments, death, disease, weaknesses,
addictions. The chapter is “Be Patient in Affliction,” as we continue meditating on three key steps toward equilibrium from Romans 12:12.

We all know about affliction, about weakness, about death, about pain. We all know the difficulty of being patient anytime, but especially during some type of negative life experience. We all could pick and choose examples that fit this chapter’s theme. Those feelings related to affliction. Those stories which cause us to cry. Those decisions we shouldn’t have made while emotionally unstable. Those relationship wounds inappropriately revealed. We all have stories.

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  1. What are your normal tendencies when facing difficult situations?
  2. How can you improve?
  3. What pains of your past still bring hurt?
  4. How can you better address those?


Solomon reminds us: “A word in season, how good it is!” (Proverbs 15:23). Chris Maxwell is a master at delivering “a word in season.” His eye catches things that others miss. He shows us where to plant our feet, where to grasp and hold on. In this book, Chris offers invaluable counsel for all who feel disoriented, for all who need help in keeping their balance on the uneven surfaces of life.

Russell Board

Regional Director for Continental Asia, IPHC World Missions Ministries