Good morning, fully committed Christian! For your full commitment to the Living Lord God, in Christ Jesus, you have not received the praises of world leaders, worldly Governments, or the so-called ‘great and good’. Yet, I am fully persuaded, that you have, and will continue to receive, the praises of God Himself - and for such a privilege as this, all other praise fades into insignificance. Glory to the Lamb Who alone is worthy to be praised!
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (mature) and an upright man, one that feareth God, and eschewed (continually shuns, flees from, abstains from) evil?” (Job 1:8)
As we can understand, from the verse of Old Testament Scripture above quoted, things happen when the Lord God sees fit to praise one of His servants. Terrible things happen, that are often not easy to bear!
Old Satan was incensed when the Lord God praised His servant Job. He immediately set about to persecute Job, to see if he could get Job to fail God, and thus abrogate God’s praise of the man. Satan still works in this manner today.
When, by God’s great grace and power, we receive faith to believe the Gospel message of Salvation in Christ, and through His Cross alone - we are immediately tested by the world, the flesh, and old Satan - in an effort to bring our new found faith in Christ to nought. Was that your experience?
Our faith is tested constantly, as the Devil probes our many weaknesses in order to cause us to sin against our Saviour’s grace. And the Lord permits our faith to be tested in this manner, but assures us of His keeping power:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again (born again, Spiritually regenerated us) unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are KEPT by the power of God through faith unto Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptation: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:3-7)
Like the precious metal, gold, our faith, being much more precious, is tried and tested over and over again - until, in the end, it is utterly purified, and fit for the Lord God’s praise. Wow! What a privilege to be part of this Eternal process! The Lord God Almighty is constantly caring for you and for me!
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13)
Job’s sufferings in the service of God were extreme and severe indeed. Few of us today go through the extremes of Job’s sufferings, but sufferings and persecutions are an integral part of any sincere Christian believer’s life.
No suffering, no persecutions for faith - no real Christian witness for Christ! We cannot have God’s praises without a blasting from Hell!
Today’s Scripture passage clearly informs us that, “…among the chief rulers also MANY believed on Him (Jesus); but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praises of men more than the praises of God.” (Vs.42-43)
These early church believers did not have the wisdom nor experience of 2000 odd years of Christianity to encourage a bolder witness for Christ. They quite naturally feared being ‘…put out of the synagogue…’ and all the religious and social marginalization that would bring. Not much has changed today.
Only after Christ’s terrible Crucifixion, did Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea come out publicly as Christian believers! But out they came, eventually! (John 19:38-42)
I have often taught the fact that there can be no such person as a ‘secret Christian’ - if we are saved by Christ, then we must seek to be His open witnesses. Bold Christian witnessing brings the praises of God to us.
Thought: Do we seek to have praise of God, or praise of mere men?