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ENDURE MISTREATMENT
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Endure –ill-treatment

Hebrews 11:25”…choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin..”

The subject “endure ill-treatment” is passé! People pick up their baggage to leave at the drop of a hat and over a small rift, no endurance, patience or tolerance.  I would like to expound the above rich scripture under the following points:
•    KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
•    DECEPTION OF THE DEVIL
•    UNITY

KNOWLEDGE OF GOD:  A person cannot say “I will endure hardships and sufferings for the sake of my people rather than go to the world and enjoy those fleeting pleasure” without deep love and knowledge of the God he serves.  Amen.  Such was the love Moses had for his people, this did not happen overnight but God had to throw him into the Nile river and be picked up by none other than the daughter of Pharaoh but watch this, God wonderfully orchestrated the events so that the responsibility of the growth of Moses was entrusted to his mother. (Exodus 2:6-8)  His initial days were important, mother of Moses not only fed him milk but she fed him GOD.  Hallelujah!  She taught him the Truth in such a way that he was not going to leave that – no matter what.  Are you listening?  Spiritual knowledge for the children is very important right from a young age, they should be put in the proper Sunday class.  

Moses walked out of the palace of Pharaoh because his love for God was greater than the world and he knew that his God would take care of him.  David when confronted by the giant Goliath, in retrospect, he was able to think of the times God saved him from the mouth of the lion and bear, so he knew one hundred percent, God would bail him out this time too.  THE SIZE OF THE GIANT DOESN’T MATTER WHEN YOU KNOW THE SIZE OF GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU.  The Bible says that His love is deep and immeasurable, read Ephesians 3:

17    so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18    may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth.”

Someone needs to hear this today, so that you do not fear about anything that you’re going through right now, but trust in God wholeheartedly.  On a particular day when I was already suffering because of lack of workers and with a big load on my shoulders, the worker who was the only one left, casually came to me while we were rushing home and said, “I will not be coming from tomorrow because my husband is not feeling well.”  This was brutal shock.  My husband left and I actually had to go to the hostel to check on my students at Angel Home, I just stood on the road for a long time with a blank expression.  Again I went back into the school, checked the application file if I could call any worker and then having failed to find anything, I came back into my room with drooped shoulders.  Just then I received a call and it was from a worker who left few days back, she said, “ madam, sorry for leaving like that, I will come to work from tomorrow.”   God is in control of your situation, just surrender!

DECEPTION OF THE DEVIL:   We live in the last days, the devil is in the job of dividing believers today, people leave the church for flimsy reasons, they leave fellowship groups over frivolous matters, they walk out of team work over  ego hassles and lot more.  The devil is triumphantly guffawing over this division!  But Moses said: I will endure ill-treatment with the people of God! Anybody listening to me?  Hebrews 11:25”…choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin..”  Our focus should be salvation of souls, nothing else matters though.   While people don’t budge from their work spot despite being lampooned, rejected and ill-treated; however, they would jump out of church over a silly row. Why may I ask?  Church is the House of God, be humble and stay with your brethren rather than jumping into the ocean where sharks are there.  Bible says:  

Ephesians 4: 2 “..with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Few Christians do not want the Holy Spirit anointing and the speaking of tongues because some Pentecostal Christians are misusing it, but my conundrum is why reject the gift of the Holy Spirit for the sake of few fake Christians.  Your focus should be Jesus and not people, Moses said: I will endure ill-treatment with the people of God.  Don’t abandon the pastor, don’t abandon church, don’t abandon Bible study, don’t abandon the work of God, DON’T ABANDON YOUR CHRISTIAN FAITH, because someone hurt you.  God is bigger that the hurts you suffer, shove it under the carpet and go to the fellowship, Moses said, I will endure ill-treatment with the people of God.  I repeat because I want these words to get embedded into your heart.

Every pain has a purpose, don’t file for divorce swiftly, endure the ill-treatment, may be your pride needs treatment too, may be your anger needs some taming, may be your tongue needing training, therefore, pause before you leap.  Don’t file a police case because your neighbor parked his car near your gate, suffer ill-treatment, anybody listening?  Moses said: I will endure ill-treatment with the people of God.


UNITY:

Romans 15:5 “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

While I was weeping at the feet of the Lord for direction to handle a particular situation, where I was hurt deeply but still I wanted to do exactly what God wanted me to do to bring about peace in the situation; the next day morning while I opened the Bible to read my portion of the Bible for that day, bang popped out the scripture that gave me a crystal clear answer, “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1)  Then and there I knew He was speaking to me!  I did tell Him, ‘but Lord, I did no wrong and I was treated very shabbily”, again I heard Him say loud and clear, ‘ you who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak.’ I said, ‘okay, okay Lord, I will obey you and speak to that person who hurt and humiliated me.’  That does not mean I feel no pain or remorse, but I crucified my emotions for the sake of Christ! Do you understand?  Whenever the devil tells me, ‘bala, see how badly they treated you’ I had to ‘Dishoom……..dishoom’  him out of my thoughts and worship the Lord. The entire chapter of Romans 15 blessed me hence I would share my thoughts with you today.

Dishoom……..dishoom! That was not from the streets but what we hear inside the body of Christ, inside Christian homes and inside the church! I want to share my experience during one of our three days retreat-fire-camp, besides the attacks of the devil against the meeting, my health that had to withstand the pressures of the three days rigorous meeting, the sudden, unexpected shutdown that might happen and threaten the smooth flow of the meeting; we had a mammoth job of maintaining harmony among the servants of God who participated in the fire meeting conducted by us.  Yes, you heard me right, it was the servants of God that were creating confusion in the meeting. It certainly irks to find the ones who are supposed to maintain peace being the cause of disharmony, each of them were clamoring for attention and there were swift words that were uttered that hurt one another; it was just too much to handle.  I had to do a lot of pampering and buttering to maintain peace but I was hurt and pained deep within, to watch the utter chaos of the body of Christ. I can hear someone say, ‘hold it, Bala, I thought the church was the bride of Christ.’  Sadly, many are not. Churches are in disarray! Jesus prayed: ‘I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.’  Are we what Jesus desired us to be? We are divided into million pieces!


Friends, it is definitely not easy to maintain peace when there are different people with different ideas and different temperament but the challenge is to patiently endure one another.  Apostle Paul says, ‘Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.’(Romans 15:7) ‘Nobody interfere with me’ is the phrase that we hear often, but there would be umpteen opportunities when you have to put up with interferences.  Just when you jump in to help the pastor in the church, an elder walks in and tells you not to wear such clothes to church or a team member loudly mocks about your hair or your colleague criticizes your presentation, how would you handle it?  The people of the world would explode I know, but I am speaking to you my dear Christian, what would you do?  Pride, colossal ego, rebellious spirit, garrulous tongue would stir you to react angrily and sarcastically but a humble spirit would pause and then answer like Moses: I will endure ill-treatment with the people of God. Say Amen.


Whenever you feel your words are coming out harshly and loudly, hold on, ask God for strength to walk in peace and in harmony with others, be it at home, work, church or at college, let the spirit of God operate in you.

 

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