- Rev. Thomas Abraham
It Was Good For Me To Be Afflicted
Ps: 119:71. It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees
I just want to share something to our children and our youngsters who are already started their 2020 academic year. Most of your classes are in online and some have to attend the class.
This year we all facing a strange situation, called new normal, that is not at all a normal.
Both Parents and children are struggling to adjust their jobs and their children’s education
And there is a confusion and anxiety everywhere about the future as the pandemic continuing and increasing our land.
This morning God has given me a message for children and the parents as well
I want the children and youngsters please listen what God want to say to you this morning
Ps: 119:71. It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees.
Affliction means a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery, unhappy situation: A cause of mental or bodily pain, as sickness, loss, calamity, or persecution.
In another translation says: The punishment you gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws. They are more valuable to me than millions in silver and gold! (Living Bible)
What a testimony of king David?
This is a testimony of king David, he had so many experiences of afflictions in his life
Look what he said, It was good for me to be afflicted, the affliction - he count it is a best thing in his life
If we look at the afflictions in a Godly point of view then you can say it is good for me, if you see the afflictions in a worldly point of view then it is a tragedy in your life – how you see is the matter
David, one time he celebrated the victory when he killed Goliath but now experience failure in his life, run away from king Saul for his own life, remember life is not full of affliction, one day God will rise David to the throne
If you struggle with your studies, or failed in the exam that doesn’t mean you are failed in your life
God talked to me that; even though we are going through this chaos, first of all you have to realize the following three things:
i. Who you are,
ii. Where you are,
iii. And what you have
i. Who you are in this terrible time?
Are you a worldly man or are you a child of God?
If you are a child of God, remember this truth that God has never called anyone for a comfort zone, don’t misunderstand that because you are a child of God everything will be alright on your way.
Don’t be deceived by the modern preachers and prosperity teachers – the content of their preaching is that God want you to be happy always, God want you to be rich always – God is the promiser of problem free life – there won’t be any sickness, troubles, pain, failure in your life – God is busy in heaven to make you happy always, a comfort life on this earth.
Such teaching is not scriptural, it is not biblical at all.
Suffering is a part of Christian life according to the scripture
Jn: 16: 33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Even though we are living in a troublesome world but since you are a child of God, your future is already programed in heaven – it is already fixed
We do not need to scare or upset of what happened to the world – Noah did not worry about the flood because there is an ark for Noah and his family in the toughest time of the world
Moses did not worry about the wilderness journey with three million people because there is a Shechinah over Israel in the terrible journey through wilderness – The disciples were not supposed to be scared because Jesus is in their boat in the fearful night, when the waves and storm hit their boat – make sure who you are.
Joseph happened to go through different hard situation in his life, but before he was born God has already fixed his throne in Egypt
Moses happened to go through in strange situation, he never thought of coming back to Egypt and become a commander in chief over Israel, but before he was born God has already fixed his leader ship and mission.
Paul a persecutor of Christianity, never thought of become a great apostle of Jesus Christ, but before he was born Lord has fixed his ministry
Dear friend, your education and your future are in his hands and it is already fixed.
ii. Where you are in this terrible time, this pandemic time? Are you with God? Or are you with the world?
If you are with the Lord, that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer, Yes, Joseph was thrown in the dry well but the Lord was with him, with the Lord, he was put into prison, the Lord was with Joseph, that was not the end of his story
Daniel and his three friends walk with God, but thrown into lion’s den, and fire – but the Lord delivered them from all the troubles.
Dear brothers and sisters, children and youngsters, life is full of challenges – worldly people want to escape from that, they may blame others and curse God in such a situation but God’s people will face it with courage and overcome it by God’s grace – and turn such trial into testimony
Ps: 18: 28-29. You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.29 With your help I can advance (run) against a troop; with my God I can leap over (jump over) a wall.
iii. What you have?
1Kg: 17: 12. Only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug.
The Widow and her son at Zarephath was in a hopeless situation, they come to the edge of their life – but they have something in their house
That is enough for the Lord to do a miracle in your life if you give to the Lord
2Kg: 4: 1-2. The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, (what a sad situation) and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” (what a tragic situation)
2 Elisha the prophet asked woman, “Tell me, what do you have in your house?” she said a small jar of olive oil
That is enough for the Lord to do a miracle in your life and for your generation if you turn to the Lord and obey
Mtt: 15: 34-35a. “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Lord said that that is enough for me to do a miracle for this crowd in this reverse situation – it is already dark people cannot go and by food
Some of you may be going through such situation, like widow at Zarephath, or widow who was frighten of creditors who are coming to make her children salves – or like four thousand hungry and weak in the dark time
When we face such situation, God is asking to us what you have – yes, we have oil, we have loaf - we have prayer life, we have little faith, we have prayer in my life
Can we say, yeas I am a child of God, yeas I am with the Lord, yeas I have something which the world do not know
My dear children and youngsters, that is enough for God to make your future bright and colorful
Thank the Lord for the good things in our lives, thank the Lord for His blessings in our lives, thank the Lord for His miracles in our life rather than look at the negative side of the life and complaint
Thank the Lord for what we have in our life than make a complaint about what we do not have
Count the blessing rather than count the problems
Most of the children are confused and upset of change their education system this year - at least we have school – think about millions of other children in your age world wide
Education is every child’s right on this world, but unfortunately, one in five school age children around the world – 125 to 130 million children worldwide – are not enrolled in primary school, this year because their parents cannot afford their children’s education.
For millions of children, the choice appears to be either work and eat or study and starve.
Around the world, 256 million children – one in every six children aged five to seventeen – are engaged either part time or full time in work to support their family.
Children; I want to tell you one truth that you are the most privileged children on this planet of earth.
Say together: “I am most privileged person on this earth
The Lord has brought you to this country - the land of opportunity and one of the richest countries in the world!
How many of you are thankful to the Lord than making complaint to you parents about your school stuff?
There are so many things to thank God:
"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep - then you are richer than 75% of children in this world.
If you (your parents) have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy." "And if you can do your homework on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity. Also. " If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ... You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day."
"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation. You are ahead of 800 million people in the world.”; "If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world." "If your parents are still alive and still married ...you are very rare." "If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the average, you're unique to all those in doubt and despair." Ok, what now? How can I start? If you can read you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
Moreover, if you are a child of God, you have a special grace and favor of God that the world does not know about it.
I want to tell you another truth: You are special Say together – “I am special”
So do not misuse the privilege God has given you:
Use your brain - don’t be lazy
Use your time systematically don’t lose it because you will never get it back
Use your skills, your talents, your money, your freedom, and available modern technologies, for your education and for the glory of God as well
Ps: 119:71. It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees.
Can we say with David,
It is good for me to be afflicted,
It is good for me to face this pandemic so that I might learn my Lord’s way.