"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." (2 Corinthians 4:17).
I am very concerned about this new breed of Christians that are in the church today. Many of them sit in churches where leadership has sold them a rotten bill of goods. Leaders have been less than honest with their congregants. Many pastors are preaching "Prosperity Messages, Name it and Claim it Messages, God’s Favor and Blessing Season, or claiming that: "This is the year that the saints will recover everything that the devil has stolen from them!"
The message of the gospel, the salvation of souls, our identity with Christ as the suffering Savior as well as the Resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who conquered death, he'll, and the grave; has taken a back seat to tamer, comforting, less judgmental, fiery sermons on the penalty for sin. In fact we don't want to hear sermons that deal with suffering, sin, hell or the devil. I don't think we even mention his name much anymore in our churches!
2 Timothy 4:3-4 tells us that there will come a time when the people won't want to hear the truth. Listen to what it says: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
This lets us know we are in big trouble! If we only allow ourselves to hear about blessings, gifts, prosperity, miracles, etc.; when trouble comes knocking at our door we won't have the fortitude to stand against troubles, suffering and affliction. The church must know that the way to Jesus is by way of the cross! No Cross, No Crown! If we want to reign with Him, we must also suffer with him.
The good news and it is good news, it that, Afflictions test our character and character tested, with the right response, is character strengthened. We should rejoice today that God loves us enough to afflict us.
"The ability to meet affliction with an uncompromising endurance and unflinching respect for God is one of the marks of true Christian character”, says Woodrow Kroll.
It was Job who said: “Though He slays me, yet will I trust him!" (Job 13:15). I can't think of a man in the Bible that was more afflicted than Brother Job.
Kroll says: " When the nipping north winds of calamity chill our nights and cause us to be restless, we may rest in the promise of God that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Furthermore James 1:12 states: "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which The Lord has promised to those who live Him."
Lastly, it is as much a part of the Christian’s life to know afflictions as it is to know mercies; favor, prosperity, blessings, and miracles. We need to know that the same God that "smites us, is the same God that smiles on us.
Enjoy this series of beautiful sun shiny days head.
And:”Don’t forget to say your prayers!"