OPEN HEAVENS Devotional – Monday November 14th 2016
TOPIC: FACING TRIALS OF FAITH?
Memorize: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Read: Hebrews 11:36-40
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Bible in one year: Genesis 24, Psalms 103:11-22
There are several challenges that will confront us as we progress in the journey of faith, but none of them will dominate us. As a child of God, when you pass through the fire, the mighty man in battle has promised that it will not burn you. At one point or the other, your faith will be tried; your love for God will be tested. There will be persecutions of all kinds. Because of your belief in Christ, people will say all kinds of things against you. There will be false accusations despite your level of commitment to your assignment. No matter how good your intentions may be, sometimes, they may be spoken of in an evil way. Many times these tribulations, trials and persecutions will come from quarters you least expect. You should be bothered because the same people who hailed the triumphant entry of Jesus were the same people, who said to Pilate, crucify him. Have you been persecuted because of your faith and your holy living? I congratulate you, because you are fulfilling your part of the Christian calling. You have to know that the hostility of the world against believers in Christ Jesus is a transferred hostility. We are not the first set of people to be hated; the world hates us because they hated Jesus Christ. Despite the innocence of the young shepherd boy, king Saul attempted to kill him several times. You need to know that even in the household of faith, there are king Sauls. They are ready to kill you, not because you have committed any crime, but because they are uncomfortable with your standard of righteous living. On several occasions, Jesus Christ, before his final persecution on earth, was persecuted by the people listening to Him in the synagogue. They did not like the way He was preaching with so much authority. And they always rose up against His good acts. What should you do in times of trials, tribulations and persecutions? You must rejoice in the Lord.
When Paul was going through persecution, rather than murmur and complain, he fellowshipped. No wonder he could say:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:35,37
He said this despite the fact that he was beaten with rods, he was stoned, he suffered as shipwreck, and he was kept in the deep prisons. He suffered in the hands of robbers as well as in the hands of his countrymen. False brethren also surrounded him. There were times when situations and circumstances of weariness, hunger, nakedness and the cares of his missionary obligation threatened to discourage him, yet he finished well. You will finish well in Jesus’ name.
Father, give me victory over every trial I come across.