By Omolara Gbadamosi
Would you prefer it happened to someone else? Think about it. If you are a recipient of a consistent flow of blessings, you wouldn’t murmur bitterly, would you? So, why shouldn’t you be the one in the hot seat right now? I believe we do not mean to favor others to go through what we suffer. It’s just that we simply do not understand the reason we qualify for such trials! They are very nasty experiences! If need be, could these circumstances at least have notified us before showing up! Well, welcome to ‘life unexpected’! Where you need to fight daily and you are expected to die too! The hard-knocks of life are sometimes necessary evils. Frankly, many people won’t ‘change’ by mere counsel, hence the unexpected attention-grabbing challenges which unfairly turn their worlds up-side-down forcing men to fall-in-line.
Scripture helps us to learn that not all problems come from the enemy. When no amount of prayer or fasting seems to calm an overwhelming storm or you perceive it is the hand of God that is heavily upon your life, then it may be that your situation is not one you need to ‘pray away’ but one you need to ‘go through’ because it is for your own good. Have you ever been hit from all sides with troubles, painful delays or find yourself falling in and out of unexplainable setbacks that steal your peace and threaten your sanity? Joseph and David definitely knew how it must have felt. So, take heart, you are neither the first nor will be the last. Believe it will surely pass. I dare say that it’s actually a good problem.
In a bid to make a person fit for an assignment, a position, a community role or his calling in God’s kingdom plan for mankind, the preparation may come like a fiery furnace experience. Depending on an individual’s nature, the magnitude of his calling and his capacity to learn obedience, it is God’s prerogative to choose the training process fitting for the individual. It took Paul days for God to knock some sense into him, about 13 years for David and Joseph and 20 years plus a life time for Jacob. It is not because you are a terrible sinner, God is simply very concerned about those who represent Him and for this reason he sets out to get our hearts right. So your preparation might be less difficult than the next person or vice versa. That another person’s challenges seem milder compared to yours does not mean that your destiny is necessarily greater. It might just be that some things about you that must be refined need MORE FIRE to burn off the dross. It might be that the other person is easier to direct than you (perhaps you are more stubborn, set in your ways or snailish in divine learning). So don’t compare; God deals with His children according to how they are. He knows His creation best.
At other times, it might be a season of discipline. Yep! Child of God, you might have been stiffed-necked like your ancestors and done things your way or returned to your vomit. At first, you may not even know what is happening. Sometimes it may take months or even years before you realize in part, what God is doing. (Lev. 26: 40-41)
However, the important thing is the lesson. You need to learn something from the trials so that the whole experience won’t be in vain. Notice that at the end, (the season does expire no matter how long it takes), if you learnt anything at all, those hard-knocks as Jacob experienced, would have helped knock out certain habits or character flaws making you emerge a better, healthier, calmer, more peaceful, humble, more responsible, honest, meek, reliable, dependable, contented, stronger or purer person. You name it, you know you.
The reality is, it is simply a purging, taming or strengthening season. You are merely travailing. It is your incubator, so don’t jump out! Allow God to do what He wants to do. (Jer. 29: 11)
Malachi 3:3 notes that the Lord sits as a refiner and purifier of silver and He shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto Him an offering in righteousness. Just like the goldsmith, the Lord keeps watch as he works on His children.
The good news therefore is that the fire of affliction won’t kill you; it is there to break the works of the flesh; the chains of guile, lust, gluttony, slander, greed, covetousness, selfishness, heresy, pride, vain glory, people pleasing tendencies, slothfulness, drunkenness, robbery, hatred, lies, materialism, rebellion, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, wickedness, fearfulness, malice, cowardice, strife, immaturity or superficiality that have kept you bound, corruptible and questionable as a professing Christian. We all need to be free to be more like Christ indeed and represent Him well.
When Joseph had been well cooked to the point where he realized that ‘only God’ (not his skills or graces) could deliver and give his life meaning; his character well-polished for divine responsibility; God knowing He could now trust Joseph with the gift of greatness and confident that the young man would focus on the real purpose of the breakthrough, not letting the esteemed position and prosperity get to his head, God released Joseph into his destiny. At his release, Joseph had emerged a different person; an epitome of divine character and competence; the old pampered tattle-tale with a streak of haughtiness was no more.
Beloved, rather than complain, ask for the lesson in the season, the gain in the pain and the grace to endure. More so, you might as well seek the grace to conform so that the season will quickly pass.
So, next time you are faced with unfair, unexplainable and seemingly unending hardship or delays, take heart and count it all joy, it might just be a signal of yet another next level- a better you! A divine character made fit for the throne!
For I know the thoughts I have towards you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jesus loves you!
You can read more of Omolara Gbadamosi’s Christian related articles on www.facebook.com/lampdivine.