WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 24, 2022
TOPIC: BELIEVERS’ TRIALS AND SORROWS IN A BROKEN WORLD
BY T. O. BANSO
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 New Living Translation).
One of the things that gladden the hearts of pastors is hearing the testimonies of what God has done in the lives of members of their congregation or people they have ministered to, or even testimonies generally about the results of the power of God in the lives of people. It energizes them. It is motivating.
On the other hand, pastors become weak when they receive from their members or others news of death, accidents, miscarriages, divorces, loss of jobs, and similar negative reports. It is easier to celebrate with those who are sharing heart-warming testimonies than to minister to those who have suffered one loss or the other. But pastors must do both. It is their job.
The pastor’s work is in a way unpredictable. He could be rejoicing with someone now and not long after, he may be comforting another person. A great celebration in the church could be followed by an incident that makes everybody sober.
The pastor could be a great preacher or teacher but some people in the church are asking themselves why certain things are still happening if God is powerful, God answers prayers, faith works, and so on. Really, some questions are hard for a pastor to answer. Only God can give those asking such questions satisfactory answers so that they don’t lose their faith.
I heard of a Christian woman who refused to bury her only son, a grown-up child. It’s very painful. She believed that God would bring him back to life, so she left him in the mortuary. She was exercising faith in God as believers have been taught. She must have heard reports about those who came back to life after they had died and were put in the mortuary. But, sadly, her son never came back to life. What would someone say to such a woman who loved God, yet a calamity befell her? Would someone tell her that she didn’t have faith or faith no longer worked?
What would you say to the children who were praying fervently to God to restore their dead mother to life? They have been taught in church that God answers prayers. They have also read, in the Bible, and heard testimonies of miracles that God had done. They expected that it was their turn to receive their miracle. They were persuaded to allow the corpse to be moved to the mortuary while they continued to pray. Nevertheless, their loving mother didn’t come back to life. She was eventually given a befitting burial.
Pastors carry a lot of pain in their hearts when sad things happen to their members. But they still have to minister to them: bereaved families, divorced couples, pregnant women who suffered miscarriages, those who lost their jobs, those whose businesses collapsed, or those who are sick. Some of these people have lost hope.
But whatever happens to Christians, we must never lose hope. No matter the circumstances of death, God knows why he takes His children home and may not answer our prayers for them to come back to life. Yet, He remains a prayer-answering God. But His will is more important than our desire. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14 New King James Version).
All the painful things that happen to believers, which also happen to non-believers, show us that we are in a broken, imperfect world. No matter the good things of life we enjoy, successes, prosperity, miracles, we are still on earth. This is not a perfect world. No matter the anointed atmosphere in our churches and the miracles, we are not yet in heaven. Some negative things we experience remind us that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11). Philippians 3:20 says our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
There will still be some pains and tears on this side of heaven. This will make us not feel comfortable on this earth or complacent but long for heaven where there will be no more pains and tears. Revelation 21:4 says, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (New King James Version). Earlier in Revelation 7:17b, the Bible talked about God wiping away every tear. Also, Isaiah 25:8a says God will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces.
But death, sorrow, crying, and pain are part of this earth. Occasionally, we will experience them. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says concerning Christians who die, we should not sorrow as others who have no hope. While we grieve, we should be comforted that we shall meet again at the resurrection. Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 New Living Translation).
You may have lost a loved one or your marriage, business, health, etc., never lose hope. You may have prayed and you didn’t get the answers you expected, never lose hope. Your loved ones may not have survived the illness or come back to life despite your persistent prayer, never lose hope. You may be facing a crisis at the moment, never lose hope. Whatever negative thing has happened to you is not the end of life.
Don’t lose hope. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:19). Have faith in God. He will do something new in your life. Some people have experienced in the past what you’re going through or happened to you and can testify that after the darkness, there was light. David said, “For You will light my lamp; the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness” (Psalm 18:28 New King James Version). Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
You may be terribly feeling the pain of what happened to you. You may not know why it happened and everything that people have said to you to comfort you may not make sense to you. But never forget that God loves you and is near you. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 New Living Translation). God has said He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b).
God loves you not because of anything you have done. Even if the trouble at the moment is your fault, God still loves you. There is nothing you do that can make God stop loving you. He has a good plan for you despite what has happened. He knows the thoughts that He thinks toward you; they are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
God has no limits. Whatever has happened to you cannot stop Him from fulfilling His plans in your life. God will work all things together for your good because you love Him and you are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). He will do a new thing in your life. He will give you a new vision, dream, business, home, opportunity. He will do a new thing in your life. What you lost is not your end.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (New King James Version). God will restore the hope you have lost. Job 42:10 says the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends; He gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Naomi lost her husband and two sons (Ruth 1:25). She completely lost hope. But through her daughter-in-law, Ruth, whom she had discouraged from following her from Moab back to Bethlehem, the Lord gave her hope again. Boaz, a relation of her deceased husband, married Ruth and they gave birth to Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David. Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. The neighbour women gave the child a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.”
A son will be born to you, too! God will visit you again. He will do something new for you that will make you rejoice. He will restore the hope that you have lost. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things you desire shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33). Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to overcome the trials and sorrows of life. Deliver me from afflictions of this world. As regards the Faith, I will not wreck my life. I receive the grace to endure to the end and I shall be saved. Father, all those who are in undergoing trials, deliver them and give them victory. Holy Spirit, comfort all those who are sorrowing. Answer their questions which nobody can answer. Restore lost hopes in Jesus’ name. Father, strengthen your servants, especially to minister to the broken-hearted.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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