Custom Search

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quote for the Day 01Dec2008

In this last month of the year, the Lord will perfect that which concerns you. Because you are the works of His hands, and His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever, He will not forsake you. He will show Himself strong on your behalf. You will surely see His goodness in Jesus’ name. Amen. – Bayo Afolaranmi (Adapted from Psalm 138:8)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Dearly Beloved,


“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (Philippians 1:29, NIV).

There is a popular chorus in pidgin English in my part of the world that goes thus: “Me I no go suffer, I no go beg for bread. God of miracle, na my Papa o. God of miracle, na my papa o.” The literal meaning in the conventional English is, “I will not suffer; I will not beg for bread. God of miracle is my Father. God of miracle is my Father.” The song is a positive confession of who a Christian is in the Lord and what would happen to him. However, the song is partly one of such false hopes that make many Christians to lose the essence of being a Christian.

The Bible in many places teaches about the Christian suffering. Consider these verses:
“I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!" (John 16:33, TEV).
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12, NIV).
“For even when we were with you, [you know] we warned you plainly beforehand that we were to be pressed with difficulties and made to suffer affliction, just as to your own knowledge it has [since] happened” (1 Thessalonians 3:4, AMP).
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10, NIV).
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12, NIV).

Nevertheless, this suffering is not suffering for wrongdoing but suffering for being a Christian (see 1 Peter 4:12-16; Philippians 1:29), and it is certain that the Lord will see the Christian through the suffering and make him/her come out of it like a purified gold (see Psalm 23:4; 66:10; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3; 1 Peter 4:12-13).

The implication of this is that the Christian should be prepared for suffering all the time. However, he should “not lose heart. [Because] outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV).

It is indeed good to positively confess that we will not suffer. However, we should always remember that Christian life involves suffering in this world. The good news is that God has given Christian victory over the suffering, and He will be with the Christian to go through the suffering successfully.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).