#MeditationMonday – Out of the abundance of a man’s heart, his mouth speaks.
Recent events all around the world may cause us to doubt our faith and wonder whether God is in control of what is going on around us. Many of us face great trials, we lose loved ones – spouses, children, siblings, friends, pets – all the hurt and pain just causes us to doubt the sovereignty of our God. It may cause many to abandon their faith, because why would a good and just God, condone evil, especially evil towards those who serve Him?
You see, the testing of our faith produces perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that we may mature in physical and eternal things. The things and people on this earth are temporary and it is not for us to dwell on the things that happen here but to pick ourselves up, no matter how hard and ask God to comfort us and reveal to us what He is trying to teach us through that experience!
There is this lovely illustration about an angel of God who had a bag of gold, he went about with a missionary to three cities to preach the gospel.
In the first city, there was a poor young lad, he didn’t have much but he treated the missionary and the angel like kings, he welcomed them in, gave them food, took care of them for the night. They thanked him and left for the second city. In the second city there was a rich man who had a mansion and many rooms. The rich man treated them poorly and had them sleep in his garage for the night, in the morning, the angel of God gave the man the bag of gold and left. In the third city, there was a family with 7 children, this family loved and served God, this family treated them wonderfully and they stayed there overnight. In the morning, the angel of God took the youngest son of the family and threw him in a well.
At this point, the missionary who had been observing all along could not keep quiet any longer, he asked the angel: Sir! How could you do this wicked thing to this wonderful family! Why didn’t you give the gold to the poor lad, you gave it to the rich man who has more than enough and still treated us badly, and now you have done this wicked thing to this God fearing family.
The angel responded: My dear missionary, be calm. You reason with the wisdom of the world, but the why’s of what I have done are eternal and not temporal. If I had given the bag of gold to the young lad, he would have gotten rich off the things of this world and missed heaven, the rich man on the other hand, is already on his way to hell, so the bag of gold is better off with him. As for this beautiful family, their youngest son would have grown up and caused all of them to go to hell. I have sent him off to heaven now, where his family will be reunited with him at the appointed time.
The way God works is never for the physical, it is always for the eternal.
Whenever we suffer trials, no matter how painful we must consider it pure joy (James 1 v 2-3). The kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are persecuted, (Matthew 5:10) as such we should eagerly welcome our sufferings with joy! In many circumstances, as in situations like Charleston where people have lost loved ones in such a horrifying way, being joyful might seem impracticable and impossible to carry out. Indeed, it is never easy, but no matter how small or big the tragedy, if we persevere through such trials of life, we will mature in spirit.
We should not be ignorant of the wiles of the devil who plans to harm us and cause us pain but once we surrender all to God, stop trying to take control of what happened and simply abide in Him, knowing that he works all things for our good (Romans 8:28) then we can be sure that though we do not understand what is going on, God is in control. God is always working something out because He is still in charge.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
It is the human nature to always want to make sense of the things that happen to us, but as Christians our lives are not our own, and so when God places His hand in our lives, the things that happen to us are no longer just for us but for the sake of others as well. It is for the sake of others that God tests us, that through the endurance of our trials others may learn from us and we may comfort those who go through similar struggles.
If you are in pain or hurt today, remember that God is the greatest comforter that you can ever have. It is always good to have friends and family around us to comfort us physically in times of tragedy but only God can heal the brokenhearted and the mourning spirit, Only he can quench the thirst of a restless heart.
Matthew 5:4 says those who mourn are blessed. You might be screaming!
HOW? BLESSED YOU SAY, HOW CAN I BE BLESSED WHEN I AM IN SO MUCH SUFFERING.
Well, God says you are blessed, so darling, believe you are blessed. You are blessed because He will comfort you. God’s comfort is not just for the physical, He doesn’t warm beds, He warms hearts!
The question we should ask is not why me, because we are not more righteous than the next person, instead we should ask Lord, show me how to glorify you in this situation.
It may seem well near barbaric that God can find good or gain any glory through tragic events because God takes no joy in evil, but if we surrender the circumstance to Him, and lean not on our own understanding, (Proverbs 3:5) He can and will cause His redeeming love to bring us out of our hurt and work out a good ending for us.
And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
In the verse above 2 Corinthians 1:7, the apostles tell us that hope is steadfast, so surely as we partake of earth’s sufferings, we shall also partake of the consolation; if not here on earth, then in the arms of our Lord in heaven!
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
As a church, we should never be surprised when fiery ordeals befall us, the bible tells us that they are not strange things. This is why we must never relent in prayer, we must keep praying for the foresight to avoid the evil that we can, and for the grace to overcome the ones we cannot avoid. Moreso, we must rejoice, knowing that if we are persecuted for Christ’s sake, our joy will be full when His glory is finally revealed to us!
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
If you are hurting because of a fiery ordeal, we hope that you find comfort as you meditate and pray with these verses. To the church as a whole, we must be prepared to keep stretching and growing in perseverance because there are many fiery trials and tests of faith in the times to come.
To anyone who has lost a loved one or knows someone who lost a loved one, especially in the Charleston shootings. Our hearts are especially with you. We hope that you find comfort and consolation in the words of Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 14.
Persevere, God is still in charge, no amount of evil can unseat God from His throne, but we in our anger and grief can unseat God from our hearts!
Do not grieve like the rest of mankind is doing on social media – cursing, snapping and holding grudges in the heart – do not let grieving lead to sin and more sorrow so that God will not be unseated from your hearts. Rejoice, in full confidence that because Jesus died and rose again, God will bring with Jesus all our beautiful loved ones who have fallen asleep in Him.
We are grateful to God for the grace and strength in you to forgive, as you have been doing so far in your words and actions. We pray that God will perfect this forgiveness so that your hearts may be cleansed of all pain, hurt and sorrow and in turn filled with the love and joy of our Lord through Christ Jesus (Amen).
Grace & Peace!
|God Bless You!|
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