SUFFERINGS AND GLORY 3
In our last article, we saw that God allows us to be afflicted to give Him a legal basis to punish Satan and his cohorts with eternal confinement and punishment in the lake of fire, thus establishing God’s Kingdom: eternal righteousness, peace and joy (Rom. 14:17) in the universe.
Furthermore, our loyalty to God and faith or trust in His love and faithfulness (Job. 13:15, Dan.3:16-18) is tested when we continue in doing God’s Word and in prayer in spite of the affliction that arises for the Word’s sake (Mk. 4:17) instead of becoming offended.
Also God rewards us with partaking of the glory of His Kingdom for which we have willingly suffered.
2Timothy 2:12 KJV: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Romans 8:18 KJV: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
1Peter 4:13 KJV: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Now, we overcome persecution and affliction (which together are referred to as tribulation) by trusting and praying to God to deliver us during tribulations:
Romans 12:12 KJV: Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
James 5:13 KJV: Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
It is instructive to note here that you pray effectually and fervently first to get a ‘breakthrough’ in prayer before you sing praises to God; this is what Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20:1-25) and what Paul and Silas did after they had been beaten and thrown in jail (Act. 16:25-34);
Acts 16:19-34 KJV: And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, (20) And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, (21) And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. (22) And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. (23) And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: (24) Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. (25) And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. (26) And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. (27) And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. (28) But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. (29) Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, (30) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (32) And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. (33) And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. (34) And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
God not only delivered them but got their jailer to serve them and get born-again with his entire household!
Proverbs 16:7 KJV: When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
So, no matter the kind of the tribulation Satan brings against us, we can overcome it by trusting God and praying; this makes us more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).
Romans 8:35-39 KJV: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.