Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 3
Faith and fear have one thing in common – ‘belief’. While ‘faith’ believes that something good will happen; ‘fear’ believes that something bad will happen.
I have discovered that all men face the same circumstances of life. The Christian and the unbeliever go through the same life processes – reproduction, growth, respiration, excretion etc. The believer can contract diseases just like the unbeliever. Failure to appreciate this fact of life, will make you murmur against God as to why you may be going through certain situations.
For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them. All things come alike to all: one event happens to the righteous and the wicked; to the good, the clean and the unclean; to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath as he who fears an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: tat one thing happens to all. Eccl 9:1-3
If you can understand that we all go through similar issues in life, you can serve God faithfully, joyfully and willingly without grudges and murmurings. Many are dejected and are wearied. They are wavering in the faith because of their prevailing unpleasant situation. There is therefore the need to contend for your faith least you shall be crippled by fear.
Both Christians and unbelievers can find themselves in prison and in other forms of bondage. Again, both the Christian and the unbeliever can suffer losses in business or can die through accident. I have discovered that people of all races and colours have one thing in common: the same tongue colour. Hence the Christians dies, the unbeliever dies. But does that mean that there is virtually no difference between us in life? Certainly not!
The major difference between the righteous and the sinner is that the former has eternal life but the latter will suffer eternal damnation. Therefore, as a believer, the reason why you should be following after Christ is the hope of eternal life other than material gains. Understand that you cannot enjoy perfect life in this world. Whatever you have or gone through, someone has had it before or experiences it before.
It is God who controls all things even calamities. He is behind all events of life. Amos 3:6 says: If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it? Therefore stop blaming the devil for everything. When Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow to speech and slow to tongue,” He said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Ex. 4:11.
the same God who created the day created the night; He created the heavens and the earth; formed the male and the female bodies and their abilities. Both good and bad days exits for everyone. Today may be a good day for someone somewhere; but a bad day for someone else. One day, Job had to curse the day he was born due to calamities he faced.
Perhaps, you are a pastor, a prophet, an evangelist or apostle, Paul says: I charge you therefore before God and Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and teaching, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine , but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. 2 Tim. 4:1-5
In your good days, all things will be in your favour, someone can buy you a car or a house; people will respond positively to your word. But in your evil day, you may be beaten up for no offence than preaching the gospel. A may be good for you and a day may be bad for you. Armed robbers may attack you on your way to preach. But despite this, God says, stand, endure and don’t quit. These unfortunate circumstances do not mean God has turn His back on you. People often ask, “if he was a genuine Christian. will he go through such sufferings?” Well, consider the righteous Job.
It was not written or stated anywhere that it is sinners who have to suffer in this life. As a child of God, always understand that whatever comes your way is allowed or permitted by God. Thus, God has got His hands in your situation. Therefore, always try to see God in your situation and seek His mind concerning what you go through.
Perhaps, as a Christian, you can lose a loved one. But since all things are permitted by god, learn to give thanks for whatever you go through; both in good tomes and bad times. Eccl 7:14 says;
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find out nothing that will come after him.
For this reason, Paul said: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are have called according to His purpose. Rom 8:28. Stop lamenting and complaining. Accept whatever you are going through and believe God for good times to come. James 1:2-4 admonishes as:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Whatever you are going through may be not enjoyable but still thank God. Don’t deceive yourself that you deserve only the best because you are a Christian. That is not the reality of life. You are only better than your unbelieving neighbour in terms of your hope of salvation. Make eternal life your focus. That will help you stay focused in your call to godliness. Whatever you give your attention to will give you direction in life. So don’t give your attention to the troubles around you.
Precious one, have a good heart towards God. He loves you no matter what you go through in this life. Remember poor Lazarus! Don’t follow false prophets who preach that no evil should befall you so lang as you are a believer. It is never true. The God who created the rainy season, also created the dry season. He created the various seasons of life. Job 9:22-24 tell us that:
It is all one thing; therefore I say, “He destroys the blameless and the wicked.” If the scourge slays suddenly, He laughs at the plight of innocent. The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If it is not He, who else could it be?
Paul did not keep back any good thing from his hearers. Anytime or wherever he had the opportunity despite the fact that he suffered greatly by their hands. In Acts 20:20-24, he said:
I kept back nothing that was helpful. but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulation await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that i may finish my race with joy, the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Over here, he was persuaded to go to Jerusalem despite the fact that the Spirit testified that chains and bondage awaited him there. He had not committed murder neither had he stolen anyone’s good, but trials and problems were awaiting him.
Carelessness can lead you into troubles but sometimes, God can orchestrate certain unfavourable events and situations just for your good. That is all the work of God. if you are not watchful of these things, you will shipwreck your faith; bow to the devil and quit Christianity due to the circumstances you find yourself in.
There are times you would have to suffer for Christ’s sake. Paul, in 2 Cor 11:22-29 said: Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? – I speak as a fool – I am more: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, kin deaths often. From the Jews five times, I received forty stripes minus one. Three time I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in wilderness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness – besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble and I don’t burn with indignation?
So, you are not the first to labour, be striped, be put in prison, threatened with death or persecuted. All these were part of Paul’s calling. It did not mean God had abandoned him. No! He was a Holy Spirit filled and tongue speaking Christian and yet, he had to face all these unfavourable conditions. Remember that all this while, He was still ministering and labouring for God.
Not everyone will love you, some will hate you and stir up troubles for you. Therefore, never live your life to please men. Jesus said; Woe to you if all men speak well of you. God is aware of whatever you are going through. So, stop moving from place to place looking for solutions. That is the will of God for you at that time. Job said; though He slays me, yet will praise Him.