Your Chaperon when you are afflicted, By Rev. Edet E. Umo

Your Chaperon when you are afflicted, By Rev. Edet E. Umo

 

Your Chaperon when you are afflicted, By Rev. Edet E. Umo

It is obvious that no human being is immune to affliction. But as Christians, we have to be strong and courageous even in the face of affliction. Affliction is something (such as disease) that causes pain or suffering; or the state of being afflicted; the cause of persistent pain or distress. Affliction is great suffering (Merriam –website Dictionary). In the Holy Bible the word appears 75 times.

 

The expression “when you are afflicted”, may not make a complete sense on its own until we begin to ask questions like, “what do I do when I am afflicted?”.

 

In Nigeria as a nation, we have had so many of such circumstances that pages of paper cannot fully accommodate. We have had herdsmen attack on communities, communal crisis, political uproar, thuggery, official conspiracies, business betrayal, family disintegration, health challenges among others. But in all these things, courage, steadfastness, hope and loyalty to nationhood must drive our attitude. Job 14:1-2 has it thus,

“Man that is born of a woman is of few days and of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not. {KJV}

 

From the passage above, we discover that affliction is not just part of human life, but it is also temporary; hence directing us to our realm of discourse, “When afflicted”. But before hitting the runway, it would suffice to mention that affliction can come from different sources, in various forms and with diverse purposes.

Affliction can come from family members, church members, colleagues, friends, supervisors in office, etc (who are all agents of the devil but permitted by God). Whatever the form and source of affliction, there are different purposes depending on who is the architect. The purpose of the devil is “to kill, steal and destroy” whereas God’s purpose in permitting it is to glorify His name.

 

As certain as affliction is in life, individuals react differently when afflicted based on their levels of understanding: religious background, grace, social background, financial or academic backgrounds amongst other valuables. Some people are easily weighted down by affliction. Some fall out of faith when afflicted. But the text of our theme points out the major causes of such reactions and gives us another perspective of considering affliction. This happens when we analyse affliction in tandem with our human limitations (probably because of any of the aforementioned factors).

 

There is a reminder here, that although affliction seems to be driven by the enemy in many cases, the Lord our God, the keeper of Israel who does not slumber nor sleep (PS 27:1-8) is always involved in our afflictions, therefore, we should never count on any human capabilities or be intimidated by reality of situation lest we fail and fall. The Bible says, ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivereth him out of them all’ (Ps 34:19).

 

According to our text, those who hope in God are assured of divine restoration, redemption and salvation. In the light of this, Christians should not run from pillar to post when afflicted, rather, we should heed the open initiation given by our Lord Jesus in Matt 11:28 knowing that it is only GOD who can deliver us from trouble; and as Jehovah lives, He shall deliver us from all forms of affliction.

 

Do you experience any affliction? Please open PS 34:19; read it aloud! Again, go to Isa 35:3-5; read it in the quietness of your heart. Take this song as you approach heaven.

You don’t have to worry;

And don’t you be afraid.

Joy comes in the morning;

Troubles they don’t last for aye.

For there’s a friend named Jesus;

Who will wipe your tears away.

And when your heart is troubled;

Just lift your hands and say,

I know that I can make it

I know that I can stand

No matter what may come my way

my life is in your hands.

Even as a nation, we should, as citizen believe in her emancipation and liberation from the hands of our national oppressors who parade themselves as our leaders. Nigerians should join faiths together, regardless of religion and creed, region and ethnicity, political and social affiliation, education and business status to work for her freedom in line with our national pledge, “… to serve Nigeria with ALL my strength, to defend her unity…”.

 

Affliction will surely come, but it can’t last longer than it supposed to. The afflicters shall surely rise, but they can’t rise stronger than the Almighty God, who is the keeper of His people.

 

Rev. Edet E. Umo is a Minister of God’s word, based in Abuja, Nigeria.  

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