LFM – 2019 March 17: Purpose in suffering? Blessing available, but T&C apply!?

Sunday 17 March
LFM

Suffering / Fiery Trials

What is the purpose of going through a trial while in salvation?
.
Isn’t it supposed to be smooth sailing once I give my life to Christ?
.
Is there a difference between a trial / test / temptation??
.
A trial / test / temptation does not necessarily come as something big, scary and difficult, but may also come subtly, disguised as something good ( angel of light), particularly in the eyes of the world.
  • Eve was deceived by a good looking fruit…not a rotten one!…Genesis 3:6
  • Jesus was tempted with good things…Matthew 4
Some of the subtle areas that we fall into,
.
…possibly because we have defined it as a new normal,
.
…yet it is still against God’s Word and therefore still attracts the consequences of sin
.
.

Going against, looking down on, mocking, speaking against, not submitting to  authority figures,

  • Whether parents, husband, political or religious figures…
  • Whether they are difficult or not…
  • May still invite a curse on us if we don’t deal with it correctly.
  • Refer to Genesis 20: Story of Abraham and Abimelech, where it was still Abimelech to go and apologize and bless Abraham even though it was Abraham’s fault!
Compromising ones integrity at work…
  • Joining the gravy train of – One should eat where they work
  • After all everyone is doing it…and I can always pay the judge
  • But still, decisions have consequences, especially when the chickens come home to roost!
  • It is not easy being corruption free at work, while everyone is stealing.

Compromising on personal integrity & purity

  • Trying to be pure in a sexualised & materialistic world
  • Enjoy life while still young…
  • Get experience of this and that as a right of passage
  • Get a sponsor for material gain…siku hizi ni kujipanga – slay queen mentality.
  • Sow ones oats around to show that you are a real man…mpango wa kando – side chick mentality

The test of faith is standing on the Word of God without compromise…

  • Carrying my cross and following Christ…Matthew 6:24
  • Without putting the ways of the world / flesh above God’s Word
  • Sticking on the straight and narrow path with Jesus as the only way to the truth of life …Matthew 7:13-14
  • There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it is the way of death…Proverbs 14:12

Possible reasons for going through a trial, why it is part of the Christian walk…

  • To prove that my faith is genuine to the glory of God – 1 Peter 1:6-9
  • …am I genuine in loving God, for who He is or just for what He has?
  • Suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope
  • …which may magnify the love of God in us through His Holy Spirit –  Romans 5:3-5
  • Testing of our faith develops perseverance to perfect and complete us so that we may require nothing (from the world??) – James 1:2-4

#A test of faith or a trial / suffering – is necessary so as to know what is truly in our hearts
  • The heart of man is deceitful wicked, who can understand it but the Lord. He tests the hidden motives of the heart and rewards each accordingly…Jeremiah 17:9-10
  • Faith, without works (of faith, that can demonstrate / test / show our faith) is dead (null and void)…James 2:17
  • ?? Do I mummer and complain at the slightest inconvenience? – Israelites in the wilderness
  • ?? Do I focus on my God being bigger than my problem or my problem being bigger than my God?
We should not be surprised at fiery trials, it is basically part of being a Christian – 1 Peter 4:12-19
  • But rejoice in sharing in the sufferings of Christ
  • Glorifying God that we are able to suffer because we are called Christians
  • Suffering as a christian may be a result of the judgment of God starting with His house??
  • Standing with God ( in doing right / carrying our cross) means that God will stand with us & never fail us
  • …Steven – Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father stood up to welcome Steven – Acts 7 .
So what after the suffering…??
But in the end of it all, suffering for Christ/ carrying my cross
  • after I have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called me to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore me, secure me, strengthen me, and establish me. – 1 Peter 5:10
  • Abraham and Isaac
  • Indeed, I need to be always strong and courageous in Christ, as God promises to never leave me nor forsake me, even if father and mother do…Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 27:10

 

  • The Lord promises me in Isaiah 43:2…
  • When I go through deep waters, He will be with me.
  • When I go through rivers of difficulty, I will not drown.
  • When I walk through the fire of oppression, I will not be burned up; the flames will not consume me…(Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego)
# How do we know if a difficult situation is a test from God or persecution from the enemy?
Is all suffering the will of God?
  • It is better to suffer for doing good, if it is God’s will, than for doing evil – 1 Peter 3:17
  • Not all suffering is the will of God
  • Therefore we should not be saying…
  • …It was God’s will for it to be this or that way – losing a job, spouse, child
  • … at times it is just a case of perishing for lack of knowledge – Hosea 4:6
  • …or go into exile (bondage) for my lack of understanding – Isaiah 5:13
But God can use any ( bad ) situation, turning it out for my good, so long as I love Him and am pursuing His purposes…Romans 8:28
.
~~~~~~~~~~
Main Service – Pastor David

Judges 13 – Lesson on how to birth a promise from a hopeless situation??

  • Literally the blessings of God were a free gift that they received by grace through faith, not by works so that no one would boast about it and try share the glory with God…Ephesians 2:8-9
  • The key was and is faith and the works that demonstrate / prove our faith in obedience.

 

Judges 13:1-21: Manoah & his wife blessed with a child.

  • Doing evil may have the Lord eventually withdraw His hand of protection from His people
  • …as was the case with the Israelites
  • We may be taking God’s Love, Mercy and Grace for granted
  • …and may need a reminder of just how amazing is the Love, Mercy & Grace of God in our lives
  • Without God’s hand covering us…
  • …the enemy moves in to do what he does best – killing, stealing and destruction.
.

A blessing from the Lord may come with terms and conditions – 

  • Prophetic instructions – like terms of a contract
  • What is needed to have the blessings manifest…
  • What is needed to sustain the blessing in our lives and keep it from the enemy
Why would the Angel of God come to the wife and not Manoah?
  • Possibly pleasing faith – she accepted the Angel at His Word.
    • Faith – the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen…Hebrews 11:1
    • I can’t please God without faith, I need to believe that He exists and that He rewards those that sincerely seek ( believe / trust) Him…Hebrews 11:6
Manoah had many questions – to clear doubt?
  • I want to hear / see for myself- like (doubting) Thomas
  • … blessed is he who believes without having seen…John 20:29
  • Let me prepare food for you to eat
  • … getting distracted by the flesh than seeking the spirit?
  • … Mary and Martha … Mary having chosen the better…. Luke 10:42
  • … Instead Manoah was told to offer a sacrifice to the Lord
  • ….sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving??
  • What is your name?
  • … who exactly are you…
  • … just know I Am Wonderful – I can do wonders beyond what you can think or imagine?? …Ephesians 3:20
  • Possibly Manoah was filled with fear, doubt and unbelief..
  • … we shall die for seeing the Lord
  • … the more sensible wife said – basically, God would not be one to show and tell us good things just to kill us in the end
  • …For God’s plans for me are always good, to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a future and a hope…Jeremiah 29:11

What do I do / how do I react …when I hear a word / promise of the Lord for my life?

  • … if I tell a young child that I am going to buy him a real plane or car, he will not doubt but wait in eager expectation, ready to throw tantrums if necessary if I don’t fulfill what I promised!
  • … but if God tells me that He will bless me / provide for me / protect me…I ask many questions, doubting and at times even wanting to help Him out!
  • … or I may even become irrational like Manoah, suggesting that God wants to kill / harm me!!
When and how far can I go in testing the spirit before being considered to have fallen  into fear, doubt or unbelief??
  • Test the spirits to see whether they are from God …(1 John 4:1 )

Why did God use an infertile couple to bear a son that would save Israel?

  • God may choose the foolish and weak things of this world to confound the strong and the wise so that no one can boast in His presence… 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
  • God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness…2 Corinthians 12:19

Do I have pleasing faith that the Lord can engage me?

  • Who shall I send…send me…Isaiah 6
  • A friend of God- Shall I not tell Abraham what I am about to do… James 2:23
  • The Lord speaks and confirms the word of his servants and performs the counsel of His messengers…Isaiah 44:26

Am I like Manoah or his wife?

Do I have pleasing faith in the promises of the Lord?

…or does fear, doubt or unbelief trump my faith?

Do I believe, even in difficult & contrary looking circumstances, that God’s plans for me are always good, to prosper me, to give me a future and a hope and not to harm me in any way?

.
.
.
Breaking out of barrenness or stagnation…seeking…
  • A Spouse
  • A Child
  • Work or business
  • Ministry
God wants to, and looks for opportunities to bless us according to His promise & His Word. But the choice is ours!
  • All the promises of God are Yes & Amen in Christ … 2 Corinthians 1:20
  • For the eyes of the Lord searches the earth to show Himself strong to those who are fully committed to Him…2 Chronicles 16:9
  • Set before me is life or death, blessing or curse. I choose life so that me and my house can live…Deuteronomy 30:19
But it requires
  • Pleasing Faith, as opposed to fear doubt and unbelief
    • Faith – the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen…Hebrews 11:1
    • As it is impossible to please God without faith. I have to believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him…Hebrews 11:6
  • Obedience – following prophetic instructions
  • – Faith without an act that demonstrates my faith is dead…James 2:17

Can I be saved but still cursed?

  • Walking in salvation but not enjoying the benefits of salvation?
  • Illustrated by being taken out of Egypt, but still having a wilderness experience!
Whom the Son sets free,  is free indeed…John 8:36
  • I am a new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new…2 Corinthians 5:17
  • …Born again into the bloodline of Christ by grace through faith
  • Now a person of blessing and not of curse
  • …As Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law…Galatians 3:13
Everything God created was good, indeed very good…Genesis 1:31

But why do we live as if cursed?

  • Operating in fear, doubt and unbelief that negates my faith that in turns makes me not please God?

 

  • Speaking negatively about the blessing
    • Life and death are in the power of the tongue, those that love it shall eat its fruit…Proverbs 18:21
    • The words I speak will either acquit or condemn me…Matthew 12:37
    • I shall decree a thing and it shall be established…Job 22:28
  •  Do I speak negatively about my child / spouse/ work/ political leadership, and if they turn out that way I begin to  murmur and complain to the Lord?
    • …pesa hakuna / No money in this economy
    • …maisha magumu / Life is hard
    • … na  ngangana tu / I am just barely making it!
  • …As I am decreeing, it is being established in my life!!

 

  • Life and death are in the power of my tongue
  • Life and death are in the power of my decree
  • I purpose & choose  to speak life
  • Not following prophetic instructions that are there for my good ( to sustain my blessing)
  • … but most of us like to try our own way, ignoring the manufacturers instructions.
  • – Sex before marriage
  • – Sparing the rod and spoiling the child
  • … there is a way that seems right to a man but it only leads to destruction…( Proverbs 14:12 )
  • Listen and obey
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prophetic Word of the day

God wants to raise and bless the family
  • Kuinua na kupanua  ndoa
  • But we need to follow His way,
  • …leaving culture ,popular opinion…
  • Be willing to listen and obey
God does not like doubt in marriage
  • Such as brought about by insecurity
  • … where I assume or falsely accuse my spouse

 

Prayer…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s