I had a privilege of counseling a friend recently, he came to me with such a heavy heart and I was moved to tears after listening to him. He lost his job recently and in less than 2months after that his wife of 5years left the house taking with her their two kids; she moved to another man’s house. He explained that, “losing the job didn’t break him as much as what happened after”, his trusted partner in a moment of trial disappeared.
I have had my own fair share of job loss and what comes after however this was on a whole different level of #@$&# but as much as I shared his pains and heartbreak, I also saw something different from what he was seeing. It was bad that the wife left but seriously at this point in his life, if they had stayed they would have been extra baggage. I couldn’t tell him that though but I saw that first.
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Yes, he was filled with self-pity, that sense of humiliation and betrayal, and to him he needed to fight back and at least get his kids back. I agree, all these are true but what is truer is that when you don’t have means to win a fight, you don’t fight (you don’t go into battle you are sure you can’t win). Yes, he needs to fight but a different battle entirely.
So I had to make him understand that his next move should not be fighting for custody or the wife rather fighting to fix himself first. I let him understand that once he is all fixed, he would be the one trying to decide whether to take the wife with the kids or just the kids back when they all start begging him to come back.
You cannot kill an unwanted tree growing in your backyard by plucking its leaves, you have to pull from the root. The root of his problem isn’t the wife leaving or another man fathering his kids, all these and more are just fallouts of the main problem, which is job loss. Problems are never solved when keep treating the symptoms, you have to fix the root cause.
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Whatever you are passing through what you should really be worried about is fixing yourself first (FYF). When you do that all other things would fall in place.
When you are down people would take advantage of you, people you expect so much from will do things you least expect but your move should not be trying to face them else you create more mess rather you focus on getting back on your feet, FYF.
There is this Yoruba adage that says “when big problem comes, small problems would cease the moment too“. So it is expected, people will talk thrash, friends would avoid you, some family members would stop picking your calls, folks would call you names, and there would be several versions of your story. Your next move is not to set things right by confrontation, no! no matter how painful it is.
Your only move is to fix yourself first, work on getting back to your feet, pull your remaining resources together, even if it means disappearing for a while and once you are back on your feet; the thrash would stop, friends would want to identify with you again, family members would start calling you, folk would give you cool nicknames, and there would only be one version of your story, the one you wrote.
My friend yielded to my advice and he is currently working on himself. I pray God hears his prayers and pull him back on his feet and put smiles on his face again and any other person going through similar challenge. Amen.
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When you prosper; some will tend to change and be against you. Yet the scriptures say, ‘when the way of a man is pleasing unto God, God makes his enemies to be at peace with him. Is the Bible divided? No!
Jesus said, ‘offences must surely come’. He also said, ‘the prince of this world, devil, came to Him and found nothing in Him. Of Isaac, it was written, that the philistines envied him. Same goes for the 3 Hebrew children, who were envied and thrown to the fire. Mordecai, was also despised and was to be slaughtered by the enemy. As great as Elijah was, at a time he fled for his life on account of Jezebel the Prostitute’s threat.
The threat is real..when the threat becomes reality..we either sink like the disciples were sinking or we survive and overcome by despising the circumstances and look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Heb 12:2. The devil is in the circumstance but God sits exalted over the flood as the book of Psalms 29:10 says..But in the Bible God seems to raise His standard against the enemy when it comes like a flood as Isaiah 59 noted only on one condition.. ’when we abide in Him and He in us’.
True we belong to Christ, so normally Abraham’s blessing should be ours. In John 15 the full meaning thereof of verse 5 is not ‘you can do nothing’ but rather without Christ we are nothing. Let me expatiate a bit. John the Baptist was a great soul, I am not sure there was any prophecy he was going to be beheaded by the enemy but when he was in prison in that exponential situation, he doubted Jesus. Someone who had said behold the Lamb became someone asking, should we expect another Messiah?
Remember ‘looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith’ not the circumstances Though he was martyred am sure John the Baptist is in heaven. But at his point of doubting Christ,he still belonged to Christ but he was not abiding in Christ just as Elijah did when he ran to save himself. Recall, they also killed James during the time the Apostles were fleeing for their lives.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit asks folks to run for their lives though, so it is permitted when led by the Spirit of Faith. Nonetheless, when Peter was put into the prison and was to be slaughtered, the Bible recorded that prayers was made strongly for Peter and an angel delivered him from their wicked hands.
God can still do wonders if we can summon courage by His grace beyond our circumstances and abide in Him.
Paul and Silas were to be killed. They despised that circumstance and had the gut to praise the Lord in that terrible situation. What happened next!?! The prison doors were flung open.
Indeed God abides in the praises of His people as psalms 22:3 says. Perhaps if the children of Israel had despised their circumstances and praised the Living God during their ordeal rather than complained, maybe their deliverance would have been quicker.
By praise i mean real praise and worship and real dedication to abiding in the word of God. Why did I say this? It is unnatural for fire to burn a plant or bush without such plant not being consumed. Yet God spoke in the fire. The fire was burning the plant or tree or forest yet it was not consumed. Trees are living just as humans. In Isaiah, God reckoned believers abiding in His love as trees of righteousness.
Isaiah 61;3 that is why when we pass through fire as Isaiah 43:2 says, we are not to be consumed by the heat or fire thereof.
There should be a shout of the King in the situation for they should acknowledge that the Lord is with them and abides with them. If we purposefully believe this and despise the situations (not easy though) just as Jesus did as reported in Hebrew 12:2 -who for the joy that was set before Him despised the shame of the cross, then and only then we are really abiding in Him.
The joy set before is the Joy of our salvation. It is more precious than any inheritance. By knowing Jesus or by belonging to Christ you can have many inheritances. Jesus fed lots of people but told the disciples, these people are with me because of what they stood to gain from Him, yet he fed them and so the devil has tricked some of us to believe that by we obtaining riches or prosperity we abide in Christ as it’s evident, we are receiving blessings from or building great houses for Him. Jesus had been quoted that without Him we can do nothing
So by all these outward manifestations only, the devil makes us to believe we are abiding in Christ because we could only do anything by Jesus as believers. However, the devil’s mission is to kill us, to suffocate us through bad experience or circumstances when they arrive, so he is satisfied with folks not understanding that the expression means without Christ, we are dead.
When prosperity comes and keeps multiplying and then we begin to skip morning devotions, we die little by little
We can’t hear that Living Voice from the mountain top again. How then can we cope when the fire of trials show themselves in sickness and tribulations? Remember the bush didn’t get consumed in Exodus because God was with the bush. God told Moses it was a holy ground. Remember when the 3 Hebrew children were thrown in to the fire…they despised the situation and worshipped God saying, if God would not help them they were ready to die in the fire, but what happened? There was hot fire but they were not consumed just as the bush in Exodus was not consumed for the Bible says, “and a fourth person was present in the fire and He was like the Son of God”. Meanwhile those who threw them to the fire were consumed by the heat thereof.
If there is a lifelong message I would like to pass to my friends and loved ones. It is this note i have painstakingly written; as you struggle and succeed in life, many will not wish that you overtake them or achieve rapid progress; they would wish for your downfall or even death in that case if such happens, one experiences the true meaning of becoming nothing. Thus, in order to be living and overcome these agents of the evil one, you must abide in God forever.
Jesus talked about different seeds that fell on different grounds. All those grounds are people, we are all sands, we had same seed, so the seed is the word of God. All Christians belong to God but only those whose hearts made the word flourish truly abide, they are the one who are more than conquerors.
That is who we are and should be.
The Bible says in 1John 5:18: the wicked one touches them not if they do not keep sinning. This tallies with old testament prophecy…touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm. In 1 John 2, the Bible addressed young folks as being strong because the word of God abides in them and because of this Word abiding (not just memorising) in them they have finally overcome the wicked one.
Many Christians will still die untimely death even though they make heaven because they don’t really understand John 15 :5 my prayer for us all is that we shall not die untimely death and we shall still make heaven in Jesus name. (Amen!)
The only untimely death that might be permitted of a christian is such as that of Paul who had the opportunity to have his life saved but yet, willingly of his own volition, desired the death of the righteous. Balaam in Numbers 23:10 wished a fake death of the righteous but Apostle Paul died a death of the righteous, dying for the sake of Christ intentionally despite numerous saving grace by the Holy Spirit.
May we abide in His love now and forever in Jesus name and may God increase our greatness and comfort us on every side in Jesus name