Tribulations test our Christian identity

pasted-image-7BY FREDRICK MUKHWANA

As we approach examination time, some of us are anxious because of a number of reasons. You could be asking questions: where will my fees balance come from? Some may not be sure whether they shall make it because their coursework marks are very low.

Maybe you are a lecturer and have not finished marking the coursework scripts, wondering if you will mark exam scripts on time. Whatever the reason we need to remember that these trials test our Christian identity. Fear sneaks into our hearts without permission.

At this stage we have all registered many successes. We need to always remember that fear turns our focus inward and reveals a heart that finds it hard to trust.

When these fears and worries strike, it is good to read David’s prayer in Psalm 34:4: “I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears.”

In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1- 23), Jesus describes several situations. The seed that landed on rocky places did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.

When the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Jesus said that the one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. Since he has no root, he lasts only a short time.

When trouble or persecution come because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

The seed that fell on good soil produced a good crop. By implication, that seed that fell on good soil stayed connected to the source of its life and was not destroyed by trouble, persecution, the worries of this life, or the deceitfulness of wealth. When we deal with tribulation as we should, it authenticates our true identity as believers.

“The Lord gives us hope when we feel hopeless …He teaches that our identity is in Him and not in what we do. He gives us the courage to face unknown future”.

When we wear the rags of “ashes,” He gently gives us a coat of praise. We can only have real peace when we rest in His arms.

We often share testimonies because we faced trails and the Lord enabled us pass the test.

Someone once said that confession is the beginning of creativity. If you are facing some challenge, you should acknowledge it exists and place it in His Hands. Ask God to give you His peace as you face today.

The writer is the Head of Department, Child Development and Children’s Ministry and Chair of the Institute of Faith and Learning Service (IFLS) Committee 

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