♣ Inventory’s Temptation
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… So we do not lose heart…For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” – 2 Corinthians 4:8,9,16,17
“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe.” – 1 Timothy 4:10
IT SEEMS INNOCENT at times to sit back, take stock (inventory) of all that goes on in our life, particularly when a situation is peculiarly difficult. There are times when trials take on a very abnormal and ambiguous tone and the danger we need to beware of is not our consciousness of the situation – the apostle Paul recalled many a personal circumstance – but how we react to the devil’s wile. Oh, how he craftily aims to lure us in to take stock of what we’re up against: “Look at how long you’ve been enduring this – the years and the many more that could follow; you have no one to share your burdens with – you’re all alone in it; no one is fully aware of your predicament; your situation is far more acute than what others are going through; you’ve certainly been ‘dished’ a raw deal…”
It is without uncertainty that while there are common trials and other trials that are known only to you (except for God) – there are some that are known only to God and the devil; not every Christian goes through the exact nature of circumstances; some differ from one degree to another. The apostle Peter did not pen fallible words when he wrote, “…knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9), it is how we misunderstand its context that gives a misleading interpretation; Peter was writing to Christians who were persecuted and dispersed throughout the region because of their faith. Earlier in chapter 1 verse 6, Peter speaks of various trials; obviously he also has in mind here that some believers differed in their suffering from others. Not every Christian suffers cruel physical persecution. A Chinese Christian, confined in a cold, damp and poor lit prison cell, is stripped of all but the heart knowledge of the Scriptures in his possession and yet is thrilled with joy at its truths – while many of us sit at home, complacent, in our comfortable chairs with a leather-bound study Bible, some commentaries or even through the touch of a button on an ipad, just before going to work that pays a luxurious salary. We may face a mild form of ridicule for our faith, but nothing like that Chinese Christian who hasn’t eaten for days, who is physically bruised through daily beatings and whose family has gone ‘missing’ without a trace – all because he will not renounce his faith or disclose to the authorities where his fellow believers meet in secret to worship and fellowship.
No, we don’t all suffer in the same degree, but all who have the seed of God and eternal life within them will go through varying fires of testing that promotes the growth of genuine faith resulting in bringing glory, honour and praise to Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7).
One of the devil’s schemes is to have the suffering Christian take inventory of their hardships that subtly leads to self pity. Self pity clouds sound judgement, disarms the Christian and weakens one to inactivity. A soldier that succumbs to bewilderment at the severity of warfare is already defeated; a soldier is there to fight and the one priority is to overthrow the enemy. Resilience keeps the spirit intact. A lethal dose of spiritual tenacity for the cause of Christ would only do harm to the kingdom of Satan.
Self pity moves our focus off from Christ and depletes all power to endure; it prevents us from being more than conqueror in our circumstances. Let life’s twists and turns be what they are, delays upon delays – God’s grace is superabundantly sufficient for our every moment and His flawless wisdom and impeccable timing is indeed engineering all things together, bringing about an incomparable eternal weight of glory.
Posted on January 10, 2013, in ♣ Devotional and tagged 1 Peter 1:7, 1 Peter 5:9, 1 Timothy 4:10, 2 Corinthians 4:8-17, devil’s schemes, devotional, differing circumstances, do not lose heart, eternal weight of glory, genuine faith, God's flawless wisdom, God's grace, God's impeccable timing, God’s superabundant grace, Incomparable glory, Inventory’s Temptation, luxury, Mark Anthony Williams, promoting growth of faith, Resilience, self pity, sound judgemen, spiritual tenacity, suffering, temptation, tested faith, trials, Wiles of the devil. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.