(week 14/01)

Olubi Johnson

2 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV): Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 

Psalms 34:19 (KJV): Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Here, the scripture reveals that it is the will of God for us to triumph always and be delivered out of all of our afflictions.

However, in so many Christian lives we see that though we do triumph, it is more occasionally rather than always; and though we are delivered, it is more from a few rather than all our afflictions. Why is this? Because we do not understand how afflictions come into our lives and how to overcome them.

We need to understand that afflictions come into our lives for two reasons:

1. Satanic attack to try to cause us to drop our faith in and exercise of the Word of God:

Mark 4:17 (KJV): And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. 

2. Divine chastening to cause us to learn and do the Word of God that we would otherwise not do or learn because of the intrinsic stubbornness of the satanic nature in our flesh:

Psalms 119:67 (KJV): Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

Psalms 119:71(KJV): It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Galatians 5:17 (KJV): For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Hebrews 12:5-11 (KJV): And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousnessunto them which are exercised thereby.

If the afflictions in our lives are just satanic attacks and are not combined with the chastening of the Lord then we can easily overcome them by simply resisting the devil by prayer and faith.

1 Peter 5:8-9 (KJV): Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Furthermore, such afflictions will produce little or no damage in our lives; like the attack of the storm on Jesus in the boat: all we need say is “peace be still” (Mark 4: 37-40).

If however the satanic afflictions are with God’s permission to enable us learn something our flesh is not allowing us to learn, then we overcome such afflictions by the weightier matters of the law: judgement, mercy and faith.

1 Corinthians 5:5 (KJV): To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 

1 Timothy 1:20 (KJV): Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. 

Matthew 23:23 (KJV): Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 

We need to realise that the majority of the afflictions in our lives are the chastening of the Lord by the devil that we cannot overcome until we firstly judge ourselves and submit to the will of God in that particular situation; then we can resist the devil and he will flee from us.

James 4:7 (KJV): Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Many of the weaknesses, sicknesses and premature deaths of Christians are the chastening of the Lord that we have or did not judge ourselves of and overcome:

1 Corinthians 11:30-32 (KJV): For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. Butwhen we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

When we honestly judge (but not condemn: Rom. 8:1) ourselves of the “little foxes that spoil the vine (Song. of Solomon 2:15)“; the little sins of omission like spiritual slothfulness, prayerlessness, lack of diligence etc.; and take positive practical steps to forsake them, then we can receive the mercy of God, that causes us to be faithful (1Cor.7:25) and so exercise creative faith for obedience by the Spirit and so overcome all our afflictions and triumph always.

Proverbs 28:13 (KJV): He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. 

This why Jesus said that judgement, mercy and faith ( in that order ) are the weightier matters of the Law.