Monday, November 4, 2019

When Trials Come (Learning from Elizabeth and Zachariah)

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Luke 1: 5-7 (NET) During the reign of Herod king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, and he had a wife named Elizabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. They were both righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they did not have a child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both very old.

Arm yourself with the right knowledge: The first thing to note is that trials do come. John 16:33b says “in the world ye shall have tribulation”. As far as we are in this world, trials will come. Did you notice that in the story of Elizabeth and Zachariah the Bible never once alluded that the barrenness of Elizabeth was as a result of their sin? In fact, the Bible described them both as ‘righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly’. Arm yourself with the right knowledge, trouble doesn’t necessarily mean you were the cause. Because the danger of such thinking is that it places on you the responsibility of undoing it by your own works. No. Don’t browbeat yourself, take the focus off yourself. Recognize it as what it is; a trial of your faith.

Continue serving the Lord:
Discouragement is a weapon of the devil. He uses it to crush a man’s spirit. Here is what Proverbs 18:14 says, ‘A man’s spirit will sustain him in sickness, but a crushed spirit, who can bear?’, verse 22 of chapter 17 says ‘A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drains one’s strength’. Many tend to draw back when faced with trials. They become withdrawn from God’s work and God’s people…No! verse 8 of our text says, ‘Now while Zachariah was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty’. He didn’t leave his duty post but kept on serving the Lord.

Pray, keep praying, don’t stop praying:
 Philippians 4:6 admonishes against worrying but rather pray, and in Luke 18 verse 1 Jesus told a story to pass a message on why men must always pray and never give up. Zachariah must have done just that, pray. For when the angel of the Lord met him in the temple, he said to him in verse 13, “Do not be afraid, Zachariah, for your prayer has been heard; and your wife will bear you a son…’. Just to avoid any misunderstanding, the angel clarified which prayer he was referring to, prayer concerning the wife’s barrenness. So pray, pray believing.

(Of course, trouble can sometimes arise as a direct consequence of our sinful actions, even then there is hope. Repent and look back to God for help in prayer, pray believing)

Prayer: Lord, please help me always remember that you are with me. Thank you Lord. Amen.
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—Ikechukwu Mpama

Bible in 1 Year: Hebrews 1-4 (in Devotional Audio)

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