YOUR COMPANION IN TRIBULATION—4
Every true Christian suffers for a cause. While suffering that comes to us through rebellion would prove
detrimental, that which comes because of submission would always be developmental. While we cannot
escape suffering in this sinful and wicked world, it must be our goal to suffer aright for the right reasons.
We cannot escape the yoke in life. If we escape the yoke of Christ, we end up under the yoke of the
world. Christ told the multitudes, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matt. 11: 30). Christ never
minimized the cost to recruit more followers. Here is a candid statement to those who would accept
gladly the yoke of Christ. It is going to be easy and light in comparison to what the world would offer.
Unfortunately many would not believe this proposition. The arch-deceiver has poisoned many, even the
very elect, to believe that the yoke of Christ is hard. Sin appears so attractive. Yet, as Sadhu Sundar
Singh said, "One would discover at the end of his life that the yoke of Christ is far lighter than the yoke
of the world". A Christian knows why he suffers. Matthew 5:11 speaks of suffering for Christ's sake. The
second justifiable reason for suffering is found in Matt.5:10,"Blessed are they which are persecuted for
righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".
John the Baptist was one such man. Herod Antipas the governor, wickedly coveted Herodias the wife of
Philip, his brother. John condemned him for this and Herod knew that John spoke the truth. John told him
fearlessly, "It is not lawful for thee to have her"(Matt.14: 4). Herodias who detested John had him
arrested and finally persuaded Herod to have him killed. John paid a price for the sake of righteousness. It
is increasingly becoming difficult for true Christians to survive in the modern society. Bribery, deception,
exploitation are accepted as norms today in business and governmental transactions. A Christian gladly
pays the cost knowing that in heaven he has "a better and an enduring substance" (Heb.10: 34). The
writer of Hebrews gave this promise to those who endure a great fight of afflictions and reproaches.
The third noble reason is to suffer for the Gospel's sake (Mark 10:29,30). Jesus said, "...There is no man
that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake,
and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters,
and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life" (Mark
10:29,30). Suffering for His sake and the Gospel's. The Christian Gospel centers in the person of Christ.
With Paul we stand up to say, we preach "Christ, and him crucified"(1 Cor.2: 2). Salvation is centred in
the finished work of the person of Christ on the Cross of Calvary .The means to obtain it is by faith.
Biblical faith is always a sequel to Biblical repentance. Therefore, the link is Repentance, Faith, and
Salvation. The objective of faith and salvation is "holiness" of life.
The true Biblical Gospel demands repentance that is evidenced by a change of life. This change of life is
the result of a change of basic motivation in living. Why do I get saved? The right answer to this question
decides whether I have received the right Gospel or not. A man of God wrote; "There are basically two
master dispositions in the world. There is the mind of Christ, which is the mind of a servant and is
characterized by selflessness: and there is the mind of Satan characterized by selfishness. One is
controlled by the will of God and oriented towards God's interests. The other is controlled by self-will
and oriented towards self's inteiest".
Fourthly the Christian accepts suffering for the elect's sake. Paul in 2 Tim.2: 10 wrote,"...I endure all
things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal
glory". Paul longed to present "every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Col.1: 28). Paul longed to die in
Christ for it was a gain to him. He had a desire to depart. "Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more
needful for you" (Phil.1: 24) was one of his reasons to remain on earth.
Jeremiah faithfully proclaimed God's word to God's elect people for forty years though he met with little
success. All this while he endured from the apostate Judah, opposition, beatings and imprisonment. When
Jeremiah ministered to the Jews in Palestine, Ezekiel ministered to the exiles in Babylon. He prophesied
for atleast twenty-two years faithfully for the restoration and blessing of God's people.
Moses stood and suffered for the elect people of God. Heb.11: 24 tells us that Moses when he was come
to years refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose rather to suffer affliction with the
people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Moses gave up the lucrative royal position
of ruler ship in the Egyptian palace to identify himself with the despised nation of slaves.
His sacrifice and suffering were least under-stood, much less appreciated by God's people Israel. They
provoked him by their words. They decided even to stone him, elect a new captain and turn back to
Egypt. The sufferings of Moses came, not mainly due to Pharaoh and the Egyptians but due to the people
whom he sought to serve sacrificially-the elect Israel of God, yet he stood to serve them faithfully.
Suffering for the Son of man's sake (Matt.5:11), for Righteousness' sake (Matt.5:10), for Gospel's sake
(Mark 10:29), and for the elect's sake (2 Tim.2:10) are glorious reasons to suffer for. Paul and John the
Baptist, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Moses-who suffered tribulation may not have got their rewards in this
present generation but Christ is coming to show the difference "between him that serveth God and him
that serveth him not"(Mal.3: 18)
SHE REQUIRED NOTHING—2
In Luke 10 we see that the disciples were sent by the Lord two by two, and they also per formed miracles,
and came back rejoicing to tell the Lord, "even the devils are subject unto us through thy name". But the
Lord knew, that none of those things could make their joy full. He did not want them to take pride in the
miracles they had performed. So He said, "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject
unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). When you are sure
that your name is found in the Book of Life, only then, your life can be blessed abundantly. That is only
possible when we are given the gift of Eternal life. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world
as He said in John 10: 10. "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: lam come
that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly". Also in John 6:47, He said,
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life". New life will give you new
joy. When the new life comes into us the Lord will teach us all His Divine laws. The Divine life will
make you content and give you true inward peace as the Lord said in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you,
my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither
let it be afraid". Whatever we receive from the world in the form of wealth, gold, silver, honour, position
and prosp'3rity is only for a short time. You find your earthly joy melting away after you have received
what you have desired. But there is a joy which becomes more and more in suffering and trials. It does
not depend upon our health, position, wealth or knowledge. That is why we read that small fragment from
God's Word, "She required nothing".
The story of Esther is an old story and a true story .It took place about 2000 B.C. It is a true story of how
a woman named Esther was brought in favour with a great king named Ahasuerus. We are told that many
young women were brought before him one by one. Before they were presented before the king, they
were told that whatever they desired they could ask for it and they would be given. They were told, "You
bring your requirements, and you will receive them freely without any restriction, whether you require
garments, gold, silver, or things for purification, ask for them and take them". Nothing was withheld from
them. Here we are told in verse 15, that Esther required nothing. Other women had a long list daily. But
Esther required nothing. What a miracle for a person to say, " I want nothing". I do not know of any one
who has said, "I do not want anything". Some are never satisfied with whatever they are given. You may
give your wife 100sarees, she will ask for 10 more and some more. They want something new every
month. You may give them any kind of jewels. They are not satisfied. Some husbands take all their
salaries to their wives. They wait for the payday of their husbands. If the husband gives Rs.25/- less, she
will question him, "What happened? Why this month Rs.25/- less? Where did you spend it and what did
you do with it and to whom did you give it?" And the whole salary will be spent within 10 days and they
want more money. They are not satisfied whosoever they are.
Here the story says, when Esther's turn came she required nothing. The result was, she found favour.
Esther found favour from all who, looked upon her. Not only was she brought in favour with the king, but
she found favour with every one in the palace. She became the most God- fearing queen, and through her
life and faith the whole nation of Israel was saved. She learned that secret, how to be content and how to
be satisfied. She knew that nothing in the world could satisfy her. However attractive the world may be, it
could never satisfy her. There are so many men and women, who think by eating and drinking or by
buying garments or gold or silver or jewels, they can get pleasure.