Tag Archives: Trials

2 Thessalonians 1:6 – God will repay with tribulation those who trouble us

God has the prerogative to deal with those who trouble us. This verse tells us that He may bring tribulation to repay them for the trouble they give to us.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Rom 8:31. The God who made the heavens & the earth can mobilise every resource He owns to punish those who make trouble for us. This is comfort for those who are persecuted and bullied.

However, there are some important questions we need to first ask ourselves:

1) Is God pleased with me? Do I have unconfessed or secret sins that I am hiding?Am I His child, reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ?

2) Is He pleased with my actions & responses in the situation where my opponents “troubled me”?

3) What kind of response would God be pleased with?

To answer question 1, check out these articles:

Gospel of Grace, Naaman comes to faith in God

God does not tolerate secret sins

To answer questions 2 &3, consider what

1 Pet 2:19-21 has to say:

“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:”

In other words, if we seek God’s glory & obey Him in every situation, and we do not attempt to “justify” ourselves but totally leave it to Him for “vengeance” – we can be assured that God sees and in His good timing (which can be a long time in our measure), He will vindicate us and deal with our enemies according to His justice.

It takes great faith for us to remain silent when the natural reaction is to defend ourselves when we are “targetted” by our opponents. In fact, the world considers those who remain silent as being “weak”. But while the argument & fight goes on, there is a God sitting on the throne in heaven, seeing and watching all these. Only those with eyes of faith will be able to see & appreciate this, just like Stephen in Acts 7.

“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 . May God help us.

1 Kings 1:1 – Age catches up with king David…

1 Kings 1:1

“Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm.” 

The book of 1 Kings begins with the sentence “Now King David was old…”. Growing old is a reality that no man can ever overcome. David was a man of many talents. He was a warrior; he was a musician; he was a shepherd. He was a Christian living in the Old Testament. The day came to pass that he became old. And like any human being when we get old, his body began to fail.

When David was old, he felt cold. They put many covers over him. But there was no relief. I can picture David shivering and trembling. One of the challenges navy divers go through during their “hell week” of training was the test of enduring the severe cold. How miserable a condition when our bodies feel cold and we get no relief. But We must remember that the frailty of our body is not manifested only when we get old. I once met a young man who was able to run like a stallion. The next day he was wobbling around like a crab. He was suffering from abrasion between his thighs. All these should be sober reminders that human life is frail and our bodies can fail in a moment of time. It need not take place only when we get old. That is why Eccl 12:2 reminds us to “remember God in the days of our youth before ….”.

The blessing that David had in spite of his infirmity is seen in the phrase “..they put covers on him..”. He had people around him who cared for him when his body failed him. These were either his family members or royal subjects. Most of us are blessed with a family and extended families around us. Christians have a further blessing in the form of the extended family – the Church. Cherish these people that God has placed around you and never take them for granted. Give thanks for them before they are taken from you. Build bonds with them so that their care for you is with joy and not merely out of duty.

Questions for meditation:

1) Have I been neglecting my body instead of using it for God’s glory?

2) Have I been appreciative & respectful to the people that God has placed in my life?

3) Am I prepared for life after death if God were to remove me from earth suddenly? Do I have the assurance that I will be in heaven after death?

4) Do I desire to be in heaven because I am longing to be in the presence of my Saviour Jesus Christ or is it because I am just sick and tired of life on earth?

What you can pray for:

To live your life in a manner that glorifies God according to what He has instructed in His word.

Job 2:9-10 – a “foolish woman”?

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. – Job 2:9-10

The woman is the weaker vessel. This is clearly manifested here. If & when our wives lose faith, we will have to gently restore them.

I will probably not call her a “foolish” woman, although the scriptures clearly indicated here that Job did not sin with his lips. (This is probably because Job was speaking the truth against sin – remember, the only time we don’t sin when we are angry is when we are angry about sin.)

I will probably attempt to remind her about God’s sovereignty and promise that He works all things together for the good of His children according to His time horizon (Rom 8:28).

This reminds us of how important it is to have wives who encourage rather than discourage us when facing adversity. History has many such examples – John Wesley had a wife who was not helpful to his ministry while Martin Luther was supported by a loving and faithful wife. Prov 18:22 – He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.

Job 8:20-22 – Do not judge your brethren when they are afflicted…

Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, Nor will He uphold the evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, And your lips with rejoicing. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the dwelling place of the wicked will come to nothing.”      – Job 8:20-22

These words by Bildad the Shuhite are correct. But they were spoken in the wrong context – against Job.

Job had not done anything wrong. But he was afflicted. And the reason was simply because God was testing Job and was about to bring about better things than Job can imaging for himself.

The lesson learnt is that we should not judge our brethren when they are afflicted because we do not see the invisible hand of God working things and we will never understand the true picture of things.

2 Chr 33:12-13 – Humbled by affliction…

Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.  2 Chr 33:12-13

Manasseh humbled himself when he was afflicted. It was through affliction that he “…knew the Lord was God”. Somehow, there is often a veil that blinds us such that we do not see our folly, evil & pride, till affliction strikes us. The Psalmist says “It was good that I was afflicted, that I may know the statutes of God.”

We need to be humble, to acknowledge our wrongdoings and seek God’s forgiveness in prayer. That was what Manasseh did and he received God’s mercies. We often read in the scriptures where God says “…return to me and I will return to you.” God is faithful to His word.

Jud 6:13 – Why did all this happen to us?

“Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”” ‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Gideon asked “…if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us?..” Many of us may have similarly asked this question when we encounter some unfavourable event. What has happened to the Israelites? Jud 6:2 tells us that “..the hand of Midian overpowered Israel…”. Why did this happen? Jud 1:1 says “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD..”. And so, “..the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian..”

The unhappy situation experienced by Israel was a result of their sin. They “did evil in the sight of God”. It was a chastisement brought about by God. And Midian was the instrument used to carry out this chastisement. Let us examine ourselves today and see if God is chastising us in a similar fashion. Have we done “evil in the sight of a God”? Are there sins that need to be repented of? If so, let us immediately return to God.

Now, we must not be too quick to judge our brethren who are afflicted. Not all trials & afflictions are a result of direct sins. The Apostle Paul experienced a “thorn in his flesh” in 2 Cor 12:7. And he tells us that this was to “keep him from becoming conceited…”. The assurance we have from Rom 8:28 is that “all things work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose”. The important thing, therefore, is to ask ourselves whether we love God and are called by Him. When we know we are in His fold, let us be encouraged that whatever comes to past, takes place according to His purposes, which are always for our good.