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Zone of Turbulence (2)

May 28, 2008, 6:26 AM | Article By: By Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

Trouble in perspective

In the present world, many resent any minor setback taking even the form of mild afflictions, trials or troubles. A passing headache or cold is irritating. Yet our Lord Jesus warned: "In this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33) because the devil is out to steal our joy. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;.." (John 10:10)

Trouble manmade

Whilst trouble may come as a result of our lifestyles, our addictions, perverted pastimes or secret habits, these are mere signs and consequences of our actions. (Job 4:8; Galatians 6:7) The psalmist admits; "Before I was afflicted, I went astray.." (Psalm 119:67) The biblical truth is that we reap what we sow.

When however in our Christian walk our faith is tested, we ought to consider these as "light and momentary troubles" (2 Corinthians 4:17) because Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer, exhorts us to take heart for He has overcome the world. Nothing can permanently assail us to confound our faith.

I do not know what kinds of troubles you are going through at this particular time; they may be tearing you apart and wrecking your faith and you are at the point of losing hope. That is exactly the opposite of what this experience should bring. But rest assured that you will triumph. Your victory over your circumstances is guaranteed. Look to the Lord, and have faith. The Bible states that, "We must go through many hardships in order to enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22) But the main objective is for us to persevere.

In going through your troubles and trials you probably do not have a clue as to what hit you. Like the Psalmist you are lamenting;"Why are you downcast o my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? (Psalm 42:5,9) They will mock and sneer, where is your God? But do not despair. My word to you is "Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my Lord." (Psalm 42:5b) Even in the throes of our problems, like Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25) let us worship and give Him praise.

Attitude to pain and affliction

Pain and suffering must be seen as stepping stones in our faith walk and can only be understood backwards. They constitute solid building blocks for a victorious life as Christians. Our attitude towards the diverse troubles that come our way will take us to an altitude (another level) where we could be more relevant and effective.

Paul, the Apostle, encourages us when he wrote;

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope." (Romans 5:3-4)

Do take note of the stages tests and trials promote us to - in ascending order: perseverance, character and hope. Character is an essential ingredient in the process that was intended to break, melt and mould us. "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer . Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:10) "Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight." (Psalm 119:143)

When we consider the life of the young man Joseph, we are heartened that the magnitude of his trials did not leave him despondent and destitute. He held firm to the very end. His experience as a slave and a prisoner in Egypt did not shatter his hope for the realisation of the dream given to him by God. It rather equipped him for leadership. Therefore. "Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (James 1:2) God's purpose in putting us through this exercise is that we become a 'finished product,' spiritually mature and capable of accomplishing His will.

Future glory

What no doubt kept Joseph focused and determined was that he considered " that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18) In similar circumstances Job had declared; "when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold." (Job 34:31)

There is no problem too hard that Jesus cannot fix. He will lift you up from the miry clay and the pit to a life of everlasting bliss. Stop looking at your circumstances. Lift your head up and look up to Jesus to resolve every obstacle coming your way.