“MANY ARE THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE JUST BUT FROM THEM ALL THE LORD DELIVERS HIM” (Ps 34:19)
????Jer 18:18-20; Ps 31:5-6, 14, 15, 16 (R.v.17b); Matt 20:17-28
Have you been making great effort to remain faithful to God but things seem to be going from bad to worse? Have you ever been persecuted or going through persecution just because you chose the path of righteousness? Do not try to go back from doing good. It was not easy for our ancestors in faith. Even Jesus himself suffered for the course of righteousness.
Imagine! Jerusalem which is the city of Zion, became a terror zone for Jesus, and the people who are supposed to be the spiritual leaders for the people instead became the terrorists (cf. Matt 20:18). Jeremiah also got his own trouble (Jer 18:18). Can you now see why the Book of Ecclesiasticus (Sir 2:1) tells us to prepare for an ordeal if we want to serve the Lord?
Unfortunately, the two disciples of Jesus, James and John chose to prepare for comfort instead (cf. Matt 20:20-21). This was shortly after Jesus had admonished his disciples to carry their cross and follow him (cf. Matt 16:24).
Are not many of us running away from the cross today and embracing prosperity Gospel? Like those disciples, we need an “ozigbo-ozigbo working God” (the Lord that answereth by fire). Hence, we have more miracle seekers than Christians today.
We should rather try to emulate the attitude of Jeremiah in the face of the trial; he trusted God and decided to commit his fate in the hands of God (cf. Jer 18:19-20).
This God saved the Israelites from bondage. He saved Joseph from the pit of death (Gen 37:28) and from prison to becoming a Prince (Gen 41:14ff). He saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery burning furnace (Dan 3:91-96) and delivered Daniel from the lions’ den (Dan 6:22). And he did not abandon Jesus to the power of death.
May that same God strengthen you in the face of trials and temptation, and save from anything that works against your progress. Amen.
I wish you a victorious day under the protective hands of God. It is well with you.