If you have ever dealt with the South African home affairs, you will be tempted to believe that the devil himself invented home affairs. The trials that come with home affairs make you believe there is a personal vendetta against you. My personal trials at home affairs began in 2017 and I still do not have what I applied for. Honestly, I began to think, why do these people hate me? Why do I have to go through this nonsense? The people I started these application processes with all have what they needed, so why am I different? On top of everything else that I am passing through, home affairs had to add their nonchalant attitude to it and this got me depressed. I could not summon the courage or strength to read the bible or pray.
I spoke to my sister-in-law about these grievances and she said to me “the day you chose to speak for God and acknowledge him before all men, you chose an all-out war with Satan and he is not going to keep his fingers crossed. Just remember that in all things you are a conqueror through Christ”. She reminded me of James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”. My husband came home from work and I complained again to him and what he said reminded me of 1 Peter 5:8-9 where Peter reminds us of how Satan prowls around like a roaring Lion seeking whom to devour, and that we must stand in firm faith.
So the issue is not that these people at home affairs have a personal vendetta towards me, it was just my faith being tested. I mean, when a Lion roars, he wants to strike fear into the heart of his prey. This is exactly what Satan was doing. He was roaring and using fear as a tactic to break my faith. Why was my faith shaken and disturbed? It was because I wanted something done my way and in a certain time frame but it didn’t happen. How many times has your faith been shaken or even broken because of the cares of this world? After listening to my husband and sister-in-law, I was encouraged and went to the bible and read Psalm 34:19 “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all”. A righteous person is one who dedicates their lives to doing the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. So, no matter what Satan tried to do or is doing, the Lord has made a way to deliver his righteous ones. The words of Jesus began to flow into me from Matthew 6:25-34 when he made statements like “Be not anxious for your lives” “do not be anxious about tomorrow”, “sufficient for the day is its own trouble”.
The entire time, I was anxious and stressing about what may happen, what is it happening and when it will be over. When the King of Kings says “be not anxious for your lives”, he really meant it. I realized that once you hold on to the word of Jesus, Satan cannot penetrate. If I put in my heart the word of God daily, I will go through the trials and come out stronger (Psalm 119:11 says “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”). So instead of complaining and worrying, all I have to do is continuously run to the Lord in prayers (Philippians 4:6-7).
This reminds me of the way in which Jesus asks us to pray according to Matthew 6:9-13 “Give us today our daily bread” (daily help, daily providence, daily needs). Your life today is important to Jesus because he says we should not worry about tomorrow or the future, for tomorrow has its own troubles. The reason being, when you focus too much on the future, you miss out on what God is doing in the present. Another verse says “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one”. Today, ask the Lord to protect you from evil and that only the trials he permits will come your way. The trials he permits are for your own good, to strengthen you, make your faith bold and strong and in turn, you receive real joy, peace and perseverance grows (the things that used to bother you will no longer have any effect on you).
Many people ask me why things get tough when we chose to worship God. If you could see the things that happen in the supernatural, you would gladly embrace the cross (life trials) you carry. Remember that the trials you face are common to humans and that God will not let you be tempted beyond your ability to resist but with every temptation, he has made a way out so that you can endure (1 Corinthians 10:13). The reason many have heavy hearts about following Jesus is that modern-day preachers tell us that once you come to Christ, all your problems will be over. Then once you begin to live in Christ and this huge storm comes your way, you leave the gospel because you came in with the wrong expectation.
Every time I encounter a trial that I think I cannot overcome, I am reminded once more that this is what Jesus spoke about in John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you”. Friends, the reason you meet trials is because you chose God and therefore made separate (uncommon). Onetime, an Uber driver told me that when one person in home affairs chooses to genuinely help people, that person is persecuted by other colleagues who say “do you think you are so special or different from us?” Without Christ, that genuine person stops helping people and follows the way of the world (follows the crowd). Are you following the crowd?
My brothers and sisters, walking with Christ is a narrow road that only a few find (Matthew 7:13-14). The walk with Christ brings suffering, persecution, trials, and tribulations but with them also come completeness in the spirit, everlasting salvation in Christ and eternal rest in heaven. My husband once said, “Chi do not worry about all that we are facing right now because compared to eternity with Christ, our lives here is like a blink of an eye”. Our problem is that we want all the glory and treasure but none of the suffering. The world’s view or mindset of who God is and should be will lead a lot of people to destruction (hell). I encourage you all to focus on the word of God, keep them close to your hearts and never let go. Whatever pain or trials you are going through right now, it will come to an end. Cry if you must because crying does a lot of good (releases all the negative emotions).
By God’s grace, I am determined to walk that narrow road to heaven. I believe that God will supply all my needs, he will always be on time and he has given me the grace to overcome trials (John 16:33). Each time I watch the Passion of Christ; I am always brought to tears when Jesus said to Mary “See mother, I make all things new” and he gets up, closes his eyes and embraces the cross tighter. When you embrace the cross, Jesus makes all things new in your life. You will have a greater need and appreciation for the savior, a grateful heart for what Jesus has done, a willing spirit to serve him obediently and renewed faith and strength. So do not look for short cuts in life, rather embrace the cross. Remain blessed.