Volume 13, Issue 2Click here to download the pdf
Let us have faith in God until the time God exalts us
By Pastor Moses Raghu
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” We need to think on what occasion did Peter spoke this word and to whom?
1 Peter 1:2 “Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood”
Receivers of the Word: To those scattered Christians in the first century who were scattered due to tribulations seeking for God’s help.
The Church Persecuted and Scattered
“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered through Judea and Samaria.”
We can understand that the objectives of Peter behind writing these words are:
- To see that the Christians should not leave Christ because of the tribulations and mix with the world
- To make them stand steadfast in faith till the end
Let us observe the tribulations and difficulties faced the scattered people.
“There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37They were put to death by […] went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated —38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.”
Peter wants to tell such Christians that God is good enough to strengthen them in such times of tribulations.
In the same way, the preachers of the God’s Word today face many tribulations from the present Government. And, it is our duty to tell such Christians that in the appropriate time, God will strengthen them.
The atrocities of the same government officials in our country have made 200 people in Kerala, 500 people in Madhya Pradesh to leave Christianity and take Hinduism. Today, we find that many believers are persecuted with a threat that unless their Christian faith is changed in Hindu faith, their ration cards, adhar cards, reservations will get canceled.
So, all such Christians need to be strengthened with the message that God will strengthen them in the appropriate time.
But, it is needful to say that the tribulations we face now are comparatively very less to the severe tribulations faced by the first century Christians. Whether the tribulation is small or big, we have Jesus Christ to save us from tribulations. God will be on our side to support us.
If we take the life of Joseph for example, as he has shown great endurance and patience in his tribulation, he was exalted by God in the right time.
Genesis 37:3 “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him.”
Genesis 37:4 “When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”
Genesis 37:5 “Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated all the more.”
We can observe that Joseph did not leave his faith even though his brothers caused him a great suffering.
Genesis 37:19-20 – Thrown into cistern
Genesis 37:28 – He was sold for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites;
Genesis 37:36 “The Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.”
Genesis 39:20 “Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.”
Let us take Joseph as our role model. Though he fell in many trials, tribulations, and difficulties, he never left his hope and faith in God.
Genesis 41:1-7 “When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. 5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing up on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted – thin and scorched by the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.”
Genesis 41: 9-13 “Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream in the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”
Genesis 41:15 “Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
Genesis 41: 39-45 “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” Joseph in Charge of Egypt. “41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “ I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt. 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. 44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.”
So dear brethren, we have come to know that if we are steadfast in hope and faith upon God, He will exalt us in the appropriate time.
Amos 6:6 “You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.”
Psalm 105: 17-19 “and He sent a man before them – Joseph, sold as a slave. 18 They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, 19 till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true.”
Ecclesiastes 4:13-14 “Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. 14 The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom.”
Joseph is a good model for us as he endured all the suffering and pain without leaving hope and faith upon God. As a result, he enjoyed an exalted life.
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Matthew 23:12 “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Jesus, the Example
“Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
So, dear brethren, let us keep Jesus Christ as an example for us. If we show endurance and patience like how Jesus Christ has shown in the times of troubles and tribulations we will receive the same future as Jesus Christ received.