As I listen to the popular chorus:
“Today I will lift up my voice in praise”.
I patiently wait for the part where the “damage” is usually done and it finally comes;
“when success comes my way I will praise His Name”
This always brings me to wonder: “are we not clearly distorting someone else’s song? Do we even care for what he was going through before he penned down the song? Or the experience that led to the revelation behind the song?
We so eagerly sing and dance to it, joy abounding,until of course we get to the part where it becomes inconvenient-trouble, and we are quick to discard it for our convenient and more preferred-success!
This quickly brings to mind the three Hebrew boys-as they are popularly called-and their experience at the hands of fellow government officials.
If I am to cook up lyrics to describe their ordeal, it would not be devoid of: fire, seeming death and doom and of course the evil plotters scheming seriously to put an end to dear lives and destinies!
Yet, these are the very words that you and I will quickly go “it’s not our portion”! At the slightest mention of or indication that they were intended for us.
When our faith is tried by fire
Would our anchor hold for sure
Do we yield to sin’s desire,
Or uphold our Savior’s love?
– Queeneth Gain
For times of trial will certainly come!
But what we do and how we choose to respond to these kinds of situation is really what matters.
May I say here, this is not a good place to “return back to sender” or wish myself and my family evil just because I decided to bring to fore what you and I would rather conveniently want to overlook but is clearly stated in Scripture?
Instead, this should be a time for reflection to see if what I’m saying has truth in it or not.
Frankly speaking, I would rather pass through life with little or no trouble, eating and drinking and then translate to heaven at a ripe old age! Void of troubles and woes. But for where? Not when the Master himself promised that those who must follow Him should take up their cross daily! Scripture is rife with men and women who had to go through one issue or the other in trial of their faith.
We are not talking about temptations that arise due to our lust and fleshly desires, or the kind where we suffer because we have done wrong or indulged. Please by all means, if we break the hedge the serpent will bite and bite hard he will! That much I can testify to.
I am talking about a child of God in a total “goodie two shoes” mode, complete with the fruit of the Spirit and all. Then boom! The devil strikes and you are left wondering “where did I go wrong” or a situation where you are treated badly for righteousness sake.
There are certain things that God will allow for reasons obvious and Bible-backed while some reasons and not so obvious.
As is the case of the Hebrew guys, it was an obvious plot to bring an end to the “prayer-warrior, righteous-goodie-two-shoe nuisance of men”. Whose daily prayers and “I know it all” attitude had clearly become unbearable to some.
That was all the crime they committed.Living in righteousness!
In Job’s case however, God felt the need to (how should I say it now without warranting a knock on the head from holy Angels? ) brag. He, clearly happy with Job, confidently points out to the devil “have you considered my servant Job?”
That consideration granted the devil permission to deal with Job “pricelessly” and ensure that his name became synonymous with the very word that strikes terror in our hearts-disaster!!!
Yet these words can be credited to none other “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him. (Job 13:5)
What was his crime? and in all still pledging to “maintain” before God no matter what!
It makes one wonder if there ear heavens one and two at the end of the day.
What if God has a presentation to listen to, one faithful day in heaven and finding the devil present decides to say with joy, have you considered my servant…..?
Abraham and Sarah had to wait way past their productive ages amidst family disputes to finally get the child of promise. What about Daniel and his eventual den of “lion friends”?
The Bible is rife with examples of those who went through hell and high water but came out faith intact and victorious.
People world over are having to face situations-daily!-where they have to declare for the dark side or face the consequences.
Yet you and I want to be content with swapping carefully crafted lyrics in someother person’s experience-driven song in an attempt to display “positive confession” and so avoid attracting negative circumstances to our well organised lives.
Should I remind us at this point that the Bible clearly states in the book of James chapter 1 that the trial of our faith produces patience and that when patience is done with us we want for nothing? And that we should count it all joy knowing that this is common place for all that truly mean to follow Jesus?
I am certainly not there yet but I have chosen to allow the Holy Spirit have His way in this matter and help my mind-set become Christ like!
To everyone going through rough times right now, I pray that God will grant you the grace to hold on until your change comes in Jesus Name!!!
Let’s work on ourselves and ensure that no matter where or when Christ comes to meet us, we would be worthy to hear “thou good and faithful servant”!
This is my desire. I hope it is yours too.
Regardless of how or why we erred, let us approach God’s throne of mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.