25th MAY 2020
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city and the Lord hath not done it”? Amos 3:6
One of the greatest theological questions confronting the church today, and indeed, humanity in general, is why do plagues afflict humanity or God’s people? My first response is that a sinful world inhabited by sinful people provides a combination for afflictions of all kinds, often! Nevertheless, God’s anointed people in the past also had endured great pain and suffering in spite of their godliness, e.g. Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Naomi, Hannah, David, Abigail, Hezekiah, Esther, Daniel, Jesus, Paul, the Thessalonians, and more. The truth remains that, if we do decide to be like David, Paul, or Jesus for instance, then we must be prepared to be tested and tried like them! (REF: Philippians 3:10) Therefore, if we want the world to become a good place for all of us, then God will definitely carry out a repair or purification of the entire world for our good. We have no control over the methods God applies in this wise! But the fact still remains that, all forms of afflictions by whatever name or description, either at an individual level or National level are from God. That is very correct to the extent that although God is not the author of evil, circumstances in us, and around us have caused affliction to befall us in one way or the other. How do I convince you regarding this point? First, take note that God is the FIRST CAUSE of all things. (REF: Prov 16:4; Rev 4:11; Dan 4:35;) It, therefore, follows that there is no chance, accident or coincidence involved in our afflictions; they are from God. It does not matter what kind of misfortune they are. This means that events large or small, past, or present, in or out of your control, are under His rule. If God cares so much for sparrows, then not the slightest circumstance is chance (Proverbs 16:33; Matthew 10:29-31) Only God can declare the end from the beginning. Therefore, all events in our lives were known to him in eternity. However, the good news is that in faithfulness, God will never send more than you can bear or escape (I Cor 10:13) Jesus made it very clear to us that the devil cannot even afflict a herd of pigs without the permission of God (Mat 8:31-32). Therefore, it is especially important that we do not give Satan credit for the things that he cannot do without express permission from God. In any event, Satan usually acts within a specific boundary in anything he does. The case of Job remains a good lesson for God’s people (Job 1 – 2) The fact is that without affliction, man would not declare the glories of God. Man would not evolve or mature in the spirit according to the grace of God upon his life. The grace of God strengthens us when we are weak. Our trust and faith in God are measured in times of affliction just like the one we are currently experiencing with COVID – 19. This is the time for Christians to show their faith in God, as well as their love for God and their neighbors.
How may we respond to affliction you may ask? Our response should be as Job did when he was afflicted by Satan with God’s permission. Job praised God in spite of His affliction. He never complained either (Job 1:21-22). Affliction does have several benefits. For instance, affliction will change the mindset of society for good; Affliction will build us quickly into becoming an image Christ; Affliction will give you useful help for others in their tribulations. (2 Corinthians 1:4;1 Thessalonians 5:14) A trained response to affliction will prevent us from rebelling against God in times of affliction. Rather, we become subservient to God and give Him thanks for what has happened. Thanksgiving is the will of God for us in periods of affliction!
Today, we are called upon to accept affliction as a divine tool in the hands of God to actualize His divine purpose in the life of His people. Therefore, be comforted knowing that affliction is from God. If that is the case, then God knows about every of our affliction, He can limit the manifestation as He chooses, or removes affliction totally from us if He desires. What is more? God gives the grace to overcome affliction! Therefore, if we all focus on God in times of affliction, we may have perfect peace in times of trouble. Therefore, I charge you today to turn every affliction in your life over to God. Also, in this period of the global affliction of COVID – 19, let us give thanks to God and pray for his protection and grace upon the world. The healing we require during this period will come to us in thanksgiving to God.
Father in the name of Jesus Christ, make us strong this day in all areas of our weaknesses as you fulfill your plans and purpose in our lives. We declare that you are a covenant-keeping God, and your mercy endures forever. AMEN.
FURTHER READING: Job 33:12-13; Eph 1:11; Matt 10:29-31