Christians must be willing to suffer wrong by monkey6


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									Christians must be willing to suffer wrong
This is quite a difficult truth: to suffer wrong. In 2 Timothy 2:24 it says that a servant of the Lord – and we all are servants of God – must be able to suffer wrong (Ampl.). It is an uncomfortable word. It does not suit us. We wish it would rather not be in the Bible. We rationalise it. We defend ourselves. We try to explain why we feel the way we do. Still the fact remains: We must be willing to suffer wrong. Why do we resist it? Because we have not completely died to ourselves. Because we continue to stand on our right to feel wronged. Because there are still things in our lives which we do not want to give up – there are things in our lives that we should be dead to – our rights, our good name, the recognition of people, the need for them to thank us, our will, our ambitions, our dreams and many more. The problem is that God Himself allows situations in which we feel wronged, with the purpose of showing us what is going on deep in our hearts. These things are actually hindering the working of the Holy Spirit of God in our hearts. The moment that we are wronged, we like to 'put the facts on the table'. Who must confess what; where did it all begin, etc.? We ask questions like: Why didn't you ask me if you could do it? Who is responsible for this situation? It is never the solution to start here. This is how the world tackles problems and it is also the example the church follows more often than not. Yet, it does not solve the problem. Yes, sometimes it helps for a while, but then the same problem will present itself again, just in another mould. If there are any 'rights' that I hold on to, and that I will not let go of, feelings of being wronged will always come back to me. This is simply the normal course of life. We are imperfect and do things wrong, and people wrong us, and the same emotions surface again. So what can we do? Begin by asking the Lord to show you what He sees in your heart. Ask Him to show you your own sin, so you may also reach a point where you cannot but say: I am the greatest of all sinners (1Tim.1:15). It is at this point that the sins of others become so small and irrelevant that they no longer matter. Our problem today is that we no longer see our own sin and wrongdoings, but only that of others. It is only when in brokenness I see my own sin that I can – in brokenness – confess my sin before a brother or sister. After this I can point to things in his/her life that are wrong. An attitude of brokenness will seldom trigger resistance in the

other person. This is the way we should follow in times of difficulty and stress. Not necessarily in an open discussion. Open discussions, where everyone pours out their hearts and 'everything' is brought into the light without a deep awareness of personal sin and brokenness, seldom lead to permanent reconciliation, although these discussions might, for a while, soothe the emotions surrounding the specific issue. Often only more things are said that hurt people and then this is remembered for years afterwards. The beginning of true and permanent reconciliation is in deep personal brokenness and an understanding of the necessity of God's grace for ourselves. We are usually aware of and thankful for the grace we receive from God in our lives, but are not always so willing to show the same grace towards others. We forget that we ourselves live from the same grace, because we are full of self-righteousness and pride. Love covers a multitude of sins – for many of us it is wonderful when the love of others covers our sin, but we are not as quick and willing to cover the sin and transgressions of others against us. What testimony do we then have? May I make a statement? We either do not really believe that the Bible is the Word of God, or we are not really Christians. The Word is the plumb line. Nothing else. Our message to show grace (to give to someone what he/she does not deserve), to be merciful (not to give someone what he/she deserves), to love unconditionally, to literally forgive seventy times seven every day, not three or four times only (even if it is the same person), to go the extra mile. The question is: Do we live a life worthy of Him? What unworthy lives we live! How often our words disqualify what we think and what we do and say? Sin, unbrokenness, self-righteousness, self-will, pride, taking offence and feeling wronged disqualify us to testify, to preach, to speak with others about their sin and wrongdoings. These things distance us from God. To lose our connection with God is much worse than sin or the devil or the way we are treated by others. How deep does our Christianity really go? How holy are we really? How much of Jesus is really visible in us? What did Jesus do when He was wronged, suffered wrong, when He was scorned and rejected? He said: I love you so much that I want to die for you. Then He DID die for us. He did not defend Himself, He continued to love, forgive and finally He laid down His life for us. What does this have to do with prayer? It has everything to do with prayer. We have to pray from a pure heart. The Word is clear about this. When I have sin in my heart against someone else, God does

not hear me (Is.59:1-2; Ps.66:18; Pr.28:13). When I feel wronged, there are always negative emotions, followed by bitterness, self-pity and often hatred, wrath, recompense, criticism, rejection of the other person, and self-defence. We cannot pray from such a heart. Let us search our hearts at this time. Let us confess and make things right with God, so that we can pray. 1 John 4:20-21 says: If someone says, "I love God", and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also (NKJ). This commandment we received from God: He who loves God must also love his brother. Let us stand before God Let us stand before God and pray for ourselves and the people around us, and to the ends of the earth. Let us pray with new faith. God is active in His world. The fact that we cannot see everything He is doing, does not mean that He is not busy doing something. Take your position before God. Listen to what He says. Read the Word, underline God's promises, and pray them – night and day. Pray His promises with faith. Get yourself a journal. Write down what you hear from God and also write down His promises. And pray them. It pleases God when we come to Him in faith (Heb.11:6). Come freely. He is a merciful God. His throne is a throne of grace. 24/7 prayer We continue to see an incredible increase in the number of congregations and communities that are starting to pray night and day. In South Africa there are already more than 4,600 congregations and prayer rooms where people have started to pray 24 hours per day, or that are growing towards covering 24 hours a day. Every month at least 250 new congregations are added to this number. The same is happening in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, North Africa, the rest of the Middle East and in a great number of countries in the world. Therefore, in the next three months we will focus specifically on praying about this. South Africa consists of about 650 cities and towns. In at least 415 of these cities and towns there is at least one congregation that has made an effort to mobilise people to establish a 24-7 prayer watch. Let us also pray for a breakthrough in the remaining 235 towns. Let us pray for a prayer watch in at least 200 of the 230 prisons in South Africa. In many prisons and an increasing number of police

stations there are now prayer rooms where prisoners and policemen have started with 24-7 prayer watches. Persevere in prayer. Global Day of Prayer and the 10 Days of prayer The 10 Days of night-and-day prayer will take place this year from 1-10 May 2008. We call on people across the country to encourage as many congregations as possible to pray night and day for the whole 10 days. In some places different congregations come together to cover the full 240 hours in prayer. Last year there were 3,600 such places in the country. This year we trust that God, through His Spirit, will establish more than 6,000 such places. You can also mobilise schools to take one or more of these days to pray. Continue to encourage people to come together at a convenient place in their community on May 11th, on the Global Day of Prayer. Last year people across South Africa gathered in 850 places to pray on Pentecost Sunday. Bennie Mostert Managing Director: Jericho Walls International Prayer Network Eph.3:20

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